Columbiana – Shaker Woods Festival, a nationally recognized craft festival, celebrates its 31st year with three exciting weekends: August 10-11, 17-18 and 24-25, 2013. Shopping, food and entertainment are featured during this six-day event.
The Shaker Woods Festival, founded to honor the 18th century Shaker community, offers more than 200 craftspeople, representing artists and crafts from all across the country.
“We’re excited about our inaugural year of guiding the festival,” said Lana Tipton, who along with her husband Tim, are the new promoters of Shaker Woods Festival. Lana who worked closely with her parents Sam and Sue Ferguson, the founders of the event, believes the transition to new owners will be seamless.
“Mom and Sam set the bar high on putting on a first class festival, but since I have been involved for so many years, I know what it takes and I am up for the challenge.”
In the early 1980s, the Fergusons were concerned that a time might come when the sale of their farm products might not cover the rising cost of producing them. While deciding how to extend the land into a more profitable enterprise, the Fergusons hosted an Apple Butter festival in 1982. That first fall festival has blossomed into the highly acclaimed annual Shaker Woods Festival.
The Shaker community was a group of industrious and devout people whose inventions include the washing machine, spinning wheel and flat broom, as well as clothespins and packaged seeds. Shaker furniture is known for its simple, beautiful lines and fine workmanship. Each year, the Fergusons choose crafters whose work carries on the tradition of exceptionally fine workmanship.
Each juried craftsperson, dressed in Shaker period clothing, offers his/her wares in a cool, manicured, wooded area. The level grounds feature crushed gravel footpaths for easy walking and access from acres of free parking.
Crafters demonstrate their unique skills without the use of modern conveniences–not even electricity. The diverse crafts include basket weaving, blacksmithing, broommaking, leather work, paintings, pottery, quilts, custom garden stones, plants, toys, jewelry and woodwork. The items for sale range from small miniatures to rooms of custom-made furniture and hand-carved masterpieces. Some of the crafters exhibit only at the Shaker Woods Festival.
An extensive selection of food is also available, from soups and sandwiches to complete meals — some cooked over an open fire. Snack foods and delicious desserts are also available.
The stages have been expanded to three which will host entertainment, from bluegrass to cloggers.
Darryl Gatlin, a native of Beaver County, PA, returns to Shaker Woods on August 10, 11, 24 and 25 performing on The Meeting House Stage. His professional singing voice is sure to charm audiences and keep the fans coming back for more.
The Cedar Valley Cloggers from Wooster, Ohio will perform on the Garden Stage August 10. This group fosters the preservation of traditional Appalachian clogging. Traditional old time fiddle music and costumes are used for performances.
Performing on the Meeting House Stage August 17 and 18 is Zach Paxson a country singer/songwriter from northeast Ohio. Zach has recorded in Nashville, TN.
The Allegheny Drifters from the western foothills of the Allegheny Mountains will perform August 17 on the Garden Stage. The Drifters are one of the strongest vocal bands on the bluegrass scene today.
Black Horse from Washington, PA will be featured on the Garden Stage August 24 and 25. This country group specializes in a traditional style of country music focusing on music of the legends like Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, George Jones and the honky tonk master, Hank Williams Sr
Additional performers and events include Vanessa Campagna, Melissa Cox, God’s Quad, Jive, Herb classes by Jeanette Thompson and caricature artists.
Robert Griffing will be signing autographs on August 11. An artist, Robert describes himself as a painter of the Eastern Woodland Indians of the 18th century. His work focuses on a time that marked the beginning years of chaos and uncertainty for the Woodland tribes as they struggled to survive the European encroachment.
Now in its 21st year, the Children’s Order offers one-hour classes for youth. Classes include “Working with Gourds,” “Duct Tape Art” and “Folk Art Painting.”
Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Daily general admission tickets ($7.00 for adults) will be sold at the gate. Children 12 and under are admitted free of charge. No pets or alcoholic beverages are permitted on the grounds. Children’s strollers are not recommended.
Shaker Woods grounds are located at 44337 County Line Road in Columbiana, Ohio, one mile north of the intersection of Route 14, and only minutes from the Ohio Turnpike and the Pennsylvania state line.