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Fall Festival on Ponce nears
by Bobby Tedder
btedder@neighbornewspapers.com
September 12, 2012 10:09 AM | 3059 views | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
From left, Lisa Windle, George Ickes and Patrick Dennis prep for the Festival on Ponce.
From left, Lisa Windle, George Ickes and Patrick Dennis prep for the Festival on Ponce.
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An award-winning festival in a lauded venue generally sells itself.

The organizers behind the upcoming Festival on Ponce — only months removed from its successful spring incarnation — are not keen to rest on their laurels, though.

The arts and crafts bazaar, held at Olmstead Linear Park in Atlanta, runs Saturday and Sunday.

Festival on Ponce lives up to its billing as being built by artists for artists and by the community for the community, said festival director Patrick Dennis.

“We do our festivals in a very sensitive way,” Dennis said. “I’m an artist and all of our volunteers are artists, so we have a different perspective.”

Dennis and company promise to fulfill twin obligations — sticking to said artistic ethos while leaving minimal carbon footprint. That roughly translates to no noisy bands, large amounts of trash or a seemingly infinite number of attraction booths.

What the event will have are a small acoustic stage, large children’s area, a handful of gourmet food trucks and the eclectic offerings of more than 125 artists and craftsmen.

Fine artists, painters, potters and photographers will be joined by the likes of Aaron Hahn, renowned for hand-crafted furniture fashioned from old whiskey barrels. Pilar Osorio, a jewelry designer whose wares emanate from seeds, will also set up shop there.

“This is a very very welcoming event,” said Dennis. “We’re not in it for business purposes. It’s not like a drive-through festival … we want people to linger, to enjoy and relax being here.”

That appears to have been the case last time around.

Scores of patrons turned out for the spring Festival on Ponce, including luminaries like former President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalynn Carter and Queen Latifah. It was recognized by the Southeast Festivals and Events Association as the “Best New Event” in the region.

Count the park itself, designed by famed landscape architect Frederick Olmstead, among the fest’s more alluring attributes.

Organizers’ efforts to help maintain the venue appears to adhere to the notion of taking care of home.

“We’re really sensitive to the park, the community and the conservancies within the park,” said production director Lisa Windle. “We have a great reputation and we want to keep it that way.”

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