Vendors happy to be part of the Praire Arts Festival

Staff Writer

Everyone enjoyed the balmy temperatures during the 30th Annual Prairie Arts Festival, Saturday. The crowds enjoyed breezes and lower than normal humidity.There were new vendors who came to sell their wares for the first time in West Point and festival veterans who have made it a point to be part of the Prairie Arts Festival for several years.

“This is our fourth year to come to Prairie Arts," said Debbie Blocker of the Briar Patch in Carthage. "We create handmade wooden items. We have rocking horses for children ages 1 to 6, it of course, depends on the child. Stick horses, decorative items, things like that."

Blocker said each year the business picks a local charity and donates $1 of the proceeds from the sale of Christmas ornaments. This year the charity is The Learning Center in Jackson for special needs children.

"We pick our charity early in the year," Blocker said. "We had no way of knowing there would be a storm like Hurricane Harvey. But we know The Learning Center will appreciate our donation."

Blocker said she looks forward to coming to West Point for the Prairie Arts Festival. She said they tend to be choosy about which festivals to attend.

"We only go to the biggest and the best," Blocker said. "That's why we always put the Prairie Arts Festival on our agenda. We do very well here and the people are so very friendly. We'll be back next year."

Maggie Pearson is an artist originally from Eupora, now living in Amory. She brought her paintings to the Prairie Arts Festival for the first time.

"I've been a vendor at the Cotton District Festival and Hometown Christmas," Peason said. "This is my first time to come to the Prairie Arts Festival. I brought paintings and screen printed flour sack towels."

Pearson sells her wares on Etsy and attends area festivals. She likes the idea of selling one - of - a - kind items year round on Etsy.

"I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering," Pearson said. "I had been crafting for as long as I can remember, so I got back into it after graduation. I'm glad to be part of the Prairie Arts Festival this year."

Amy W. Ballard has been coming to West Point for the Prairie Arts Festival for more than five years.

"I do mixed media art and Kuhimino beading," Ballard said. "I'm from Eupora and live in Columbus. We set up Friday and are ready to go Saturday morning. I hand out more than 500 business cards while I'm here. I do very well here and am always looking forward to coming back the next year."

She received her Bachelor of Art degree from Mississippi University for Women.

Deborah Duncan from Starkville brought her resin paintings for the first time to the Prairie Arts Festival.

"Resin paintings is a new medium to this area," Duncan said. "We have serving trays, cheese boards, coasters and some resin jewelry."

She said the jewelry is not the main focus, but a beautiful by-product of working with resin.

"We had a booth at the Mississippi Craft Show in Pearl," Duncan said. "We were at the Cotton District Festival and the Market Street Festival. We heard this one in West Point was a great place to sell. We hope to make this an annual stop."