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Cedarhurst celebrates 35 years of fair

MOUNT VERNON – Thousands descended onto the grounds ofCedarhurst for the 35th Annual Cedarhurst Craft Fair. More than 120 artists were selected to display their work at thisyear’s event, according to Cedarhurst Director of Communi-cationsSarah Sledge. Sledge said the focus of the fair is to introduce local andregional visitors to great artists. She said exhibiting artists areselected by judges. The fair draws artists working with severalmediums, ranging from ceramics and jewelry to wood and leatherarts. Judges give $8,000 in awards, including a people’s choiceaward during an artists’ dinner. In addition to artist tents, the fair features food vendors and anentertainment tent with bands to add to the atmosphere. Childrenhad the opportunity to craft make-and-take art, such as petrocks. “You really can’t just come here for an hour,” she said. “It reallywould take two days to go through it all.” Sledge said the craft fair has become a tradition in the 35 yearsit has developed, and draws between 8,000 and 10,000 people eachyear. “It’s just kind of a tradition now,” Sledge said. “It just doesn’tseem like fall is going to start unless you’ve had the CedarhurstCraft Fair.” Scrimshaw artist Michelle “Mike” Ochonicky has been exhibiting for28 of the fair’s 35 years. Ochonicky’s work is unique and has beenfeatured in Early American Life magazine. Last year, she took hertalents to Washington, D.C., and designed ornaments for thenational Christmas tree. Ochonicky said she enjoys returning to the fair each year becausethe committee treats artists well and the community is appreciativeof the arts. “The atmosphere’s great and there’s always a nice diversity of theartists.” Ochonicky said each year she sees many of the same people stop byher exhibit. “It’s always wonderful to come back here and have that kind ofgreeting,” she said. The fair continues today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 2600 RichviewRoad in Mount Vernon. 618-351-5823  

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