By Kim Guenther
President, Claudius Crozet Park Board
Crozet Park will mark the Crozet Arts & Crafts Festival’s 35th year anniversary hosting the festival May 9 and 10. What started as a small festival in Greenwood morphed into a Mother’s Day Arts and Crafts show hosted by the Park and from there a bi-annual park tradition.
In 1982, admission to the festival was $1.50 (50 cents for children). The event featured 72 artists across 14 different media types. Food at the festival included an “old fashioned steer roast” and entertainment included strolling musician James Bailey, the Rye Cove Cloggers from Clinchport, the Court Square and Morris Dancers and the Dogwood Chorus. The entire 1982 A&C Festival brochure can be found online at: http://crozetfestival.com/festival-history/
Today’s festival has grown into one of Virginia’s premier arts and crafts shows, attracting artists from as far as Maine and Florida. Both the May and October festivals see upwards of 6,000 attendees in a single weekend. They enjoy well over 100 different artist exhibits and entertainment that is as diverse as the many food choices.
Although the event has grown through the years, one fact remains the same. Community-owned and operated, the park relies on the festivals as its primary source of revenue. Proceeds from the twice-yearly festival provide funds for park maintenance, business costs like insurance, and ongoing development. This year alone, the park will spend over $40,000 on maintenance and business overhead costs. The park also expects to pay off the remaining $50,000 of the loan that helped finance the pool dome.
The way that our entire community comes together to support the park and this important event is unchanged over the years.
“The Crozet Arts and Crafts Festival has benefited the Crozet community for 35 years, helping provide the necessary funding to support the park’s recreational opportunities for all age groups at this end of the county as well as Augusta and Nelson counties,” said long-time park board member Jo Ann Perkins. “The Gator Swim Team has provided opportunities for children to excel in swimming over the years and many college scholarships and other benefits have been awarded to Crozet children for their swimming talents and also for the leadership they learned through organized sport. These experiences for our children are as important as their attendance in our neighborhood schools with superior academic standards. What if there was no park, pool, athletic fields, or place to walk? This is something I personally would not want to see happen, nor should the rest of the community. Each of us should be sure that we contribute to the health and well-being of the park in every way that is needed.”
Consider participating in this year’s festival as a sponsor, an attendee or volunteer. Information can be found at www.crozetartsandcrafts.com.