The festival, Sept. 5 through 8, hosts crafters and artists from multiple locations and is the largest arts and crafts festival in the Southeast.
Janet Bell, special events manager of the park, said they focus on three goals when putting this together each year – time, talent and treasure.
“Three things come to mind when planning the festival,” Bell said. “Time, talent and treasure – the time that each volunteer gives, the talent of each vendor in the festival and the treasure of the many people who are die-hard and come every year.”
The festival features the talent of one of the artists each year who enter the show. Bell said the artists at the festival present their artwork before a jury and the jury decides who shall be the featured artist.
This year’s artist is Rebecca Willoughby from southern Louisiana. Willoughby is not new to the park. She grew up painting and drawing there when she visited her aunt in the Atlanta area.
“As a child, we would go on vacation to visit my aunt and we would picnic in Stone Mountain Park,” Willoughby said. “Now as an artist, I wanted to get into more shows and desired to be part of the biggest arts and craft festival in the South.”
Willoughby will have her booth set up in the special events meadow and speak at the Yellow Daisy Girls event. The festival started the Yellow Daisy Girls as an opportunity for a girl’s weekend at the festival. It is part of the girl’s getaway package the festival offers.
There will also be featured artists such as the Swon Brothers from “The Voice.” Bell said there is something for everyone – a men’s den for the men to watch football, a children’s area and plenty of shopping.
Former park public relations director Dorothy Maddux started the festival to showcase the rare flower. Park spokeswoman Jeanine Jones said she believes Maddux did not realize how popular the festival would grow.
It started in the railroad and skylift pavilions. One pavilion contained the art vendors and the other contained the crafts vendors. The location of the festival switched to the former horse stables after the park stopped renting horses for trail rides and has since settled in the special events meadow of the park.
If you go:
When: Sept. 5 through 8, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday
Where: 1000 Robert E Lee Blvd., Stone Mountain
Cost: The festival is free with paid parking, $10 for a one-day permit and $35 for an annual permit.