The Amish Acres Arts and Crafts Festival got underway on Thursday for its 52nd year. The four day event includes almost 300 vendors from over 30 states across the country. The event is marketed to visitors from as far away as Chicago and Toledo, Ohio.
According to the American Bus Association Arts, the Amish Acres Arts and Crafts Festival is one of the top 100 events in North America. Aside from the plethora of art and craft items on sale, there are also a number of family-friendly activities. Entertainment includes live music, line and square dancing, paddle boats, and magic shows. Festival-style food and drinks will also be available
Richard Pletcher notes the history of the Amish Acres Arts and Crafts Festival on their website:
My father, Lavern, took me to Lancaster in 1957 to visit the Amish Farm and House. He sensed a demand for Amish tourism in Nappanee. I remember vividly observing the similarities between the Amish community of Lancaster and Nappanee. The idea of Amish tourism fermented for a number of years. Then in 1962 between my junior and senior year at Indiana University, we added a clothes line art show to sidewalk days around our family furniture store in downtown.
People came. The[y] enjoyed the free lemonade and donuts, but began asking for Amish related products; jams, jellies, smoked meat, buggy rides, and tours of Amish farms. The art show began to take on the atmosphere of a country fair, but as it grew was renamed the Village Art Festival.
The festival runs from July 31 until Sunday, August 3 in Nappanee, Indiana. Nappanee is along County Road 19 and US 6. Times are from 9 until 6 on Thursday through Saturday and from 10 until 5 on Sunday. Admission costs $7 for adults and is free for children under 12. You can download a $1 off coupon here.
South Bend Voice will be at the Amish Acres Arts and Crafts Festival on Saturday. Be sure to check back on our website for more coverage.