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article imageThe 17th Annual Springtime Arts & Crafts Festival in the Ozarks Special

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By Kay Mathews     May 7, 2012 in Arts
Springdale - The spring edition of the Ozark Regional Arts & Crafts Festivals, considered to be one of the top 100 craft fairs in the United States and the largest indoor craft fair in the state of Arkansas, was held over the weekend.
There were arts & crafts festivals held at various places all weekend in Northwest Arkansas. The spring event has not been going on as long as the nationally known Fall Craft Fest in the Ozarks. The fall event started 21 years ago, while the spring festivals began 17 years ago. Still, the spring event has become very popular and I decided to cover the event held at the NW Arkansas Convention Center at the Holiday Inn in Springdale.
I asked a friend if her son, Micah, 10, could join me for the outing. She agreed, and to my surprise he enthusiastically agreed. I didn't know why until we arrived at the The 17th Annual Springtime Arts & Crafts Festival.
The parking lot at the NW Arkansas Convention Center was packed. Visitors to the festival were not disappointed. As advertised, the festival offered "a unique blend of health and beauty related products and services, home decor and antiques, ladies and children's fashion and apparel, as well as original home spun arts and crafts."
The 17th Annual Springtime Arts & Crafts Festival.  Springdale  AR  May 2012
The 17th Annual Springtime Arts & Crafts Festival. Springdale, AR May 2012
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Micah is very interested in art and is quite a good young painter himself, so it didn't surprise me that his first stop would be at a booth featuring paintings.
The 17th Annual Springtime Arts & Crafts Festival.  Springdale  AR  May 2012
The 17th Annual Springtime Arts & Crafts Festival. Springdale, AR May 2012
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Near that booth was a booth featuring a traditional favorite of mine: quilts. While looking at the beautiful quilts, I met the owner, Pradeep Kumar. Kumar told me that he had been designing quilts for 24 years. He likened the process to that of a conductor pulling the symphony together without playing a single instrument. In other words, the quilts before me were designed by Kumar and quilted elsewhere for his shop Quilts by Pradeep. Kumar then graciously agreed to pose for a photo by his favorite quilt, the stars and stripes.
The 17th Annual Springtime Arts & Crafts Festival.  Springdale  AR  May 2012
The 17th Annual Springtime Arts & Crafts Festival. Springdale, AR May 2012
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While visiting with Pradeep, I noticed that Micah was making his way toward the end of the row of booths. I said good-bye to Pradeep and hurried to catch up with Micah. Aha, now I understood why Micah likes arts and crafts festivals so much. He had found a booth giving out samples of some of the most luscious soup I've ever eaten. Micah gave the rice and beans and chili two thumbs up. I agreed with his assessment, but for good luck, I bought a package of All of Us Old Plantation Soups' "Good Luck Soup Mix."
The 17th Annual Springtime Arts & Crafts Festival.  Springdale  AR  May 2012
The 17th Annual Springtime Arts & Crafts Festival. Springdale, AR May 2012
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Because this festival was held in Arkansas, it came as no surprise to see a lot of Razorback-themed items for sale.
The 17th Annual Springtime Arts & Crafts Festival.  Springdale  AR  May 2012
The 17th Annual Springtime Arts & Crafts Festival. Springdale, AR May 2012
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Soon we came upon the Mike's All Purpose Seasoning booth, and met Mike. Mike Garner was very proud of his products that are low in sodium or salt-free, and he urged us to try some. Of course, Micah was all too happy to do so and so was I!
The 17th Annual Springtime Arts & Crafts Festival.  Springdale  AR  May 2012
The 17th Annual Springtime Arts & Crafts Festival. Springdale, AR May 2012
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The 17th Annual Springtime Arts & Crafts Festival.  Springdale  AR  May 2012
The 17th Annual Springtime Arts & Crafts Festival. Springdale, AR May 2012
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Whispering Meadows Vineyards & Winery had a booth at the festival. No, neither Micah nor I partook of their "Wine from the Heartland". It was very tempting, though.
The 17th Annual Springtime Arts & Crafts Festival.  Springdale  AR  May 2012
The 17th Annual Springtime Arts & Crafts Festival. Springdale, AR May 2012
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The 17th Annual Springtime Arts & Crafts Festival.  Springdale  AR  May 2012
The 17th Annual Springtime Arts & Crafts Festival. Springdale, AR May 2012
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Our visit to The 17th Annual Springtime Arts & Crafts Festival in the Ozarks was almost complete. The only thing lacking was a bag of kettle korn. Micah and I remedied that as we left the arts & crafts festival on our way to the Cinco de Mayo festival.
Now it is just a matter of waiting until The 21st Annual Fall Craft Fest, October 19 & 20, 2012.
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