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October 27th, 2021

fall festival 2020Visitors to Baker Art’s 2020 Fall Festival check out some of the crafts at this booth. L&T file photo/Robert PierceROBERT PIERCE • Leader & Times

 

Autumn officially arrived Wednesday, and next Saturday, Liberal’s Baker Arts Center is welcoming the season with a fun event.

After the success of last year’s Fall Festival, Baker is bringing back the event for a second year, and Director Kat Baalmann said there is plenty for those coming to see.

“We have two dozen vendors that range from sno cones to handmade jewelry to breads and jellies, lots of gifts and handmade goods,” she said. 

Fall Festival will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 2 at Baker Arts, and in addition to the center’s grounds and indoors, a new part of the center, its new kitchen, will be open as well.

“We’ll have different activities inside out, which include pumpkin painting, face painting, different Halloween and fall crafts and opportunities to sign up for upcoming workshops,” Baalmann said.

The initial Fall Festival took place in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Baalmann said with that in mind, the first run went fantastic. She added the event has grown this year, and that has been a great surprise.

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“We’re eager to add more variety, as well as a fun, family atmosphere,” she said. “We’ll have a petting zoo, pumpkins for everyone and some different hands-on activities, including some create your own horse hair pottery you’ll be able to make and take that day. We’ll have local artists who will be demonstrating their crafts and their handiwork as well. I think that’s a great addition to this year’s festival.”

The goal of Fall Festival is to support local artists, something Baalmann said the event does quite well.

“The event itself supports local artists not only by having them here but having them demonstrate for the public their work first hand so it doesn’t feel so foreign to just sell it,” she said. “If you’re seeing the process, I think it makes for not only an experience, but also to walk home with that product and the monetary support.”

As of Wednesday, Baalmann said a few spots were left for vendors, but they were filling up fast.

“They can register online at bakerarts.org,” she said. “We’ve got that registration process through our Web site. They can also do it here or by calling.”

Baker Arts Center is located at 624 N. Pershing in Liberal and can be reached at 620-624-2810. 

Baalmann said she is particularly looking forward to people see Baker’s latest round of renovations.

“I’m excited for the general public to see the culinary center, the bigger kitchen, as well as being able to tour the different changes we’ve made within the facility in just a short year,” she said. “It’s hard to believe that last year, we were just getting going, and now, people can get even more involved post-COVID.”

For Baalmann, the renovations add to an already high level of excitement for Fall Festival.

“The more we can offer the community, the more participation we’ll get in return, as well as making sure we’re looking holistically at an art experience that doesn’t single out one type of art,” she said. “We can study and help the community with their own avenue they want to go through with their respective art form. Offering culinary arts is a fantastic way to get more people intergraded in our community as well as offering a very valuable asset to our programming.”

Baalmann praised the efforts of all those who make Fall Festival possible.

“I’m very proud of the vendors we’re exhibiting and even more proud of my board and my staff for all of the help and the constant efforts they put forth to really make a great communal event,” she said.

Baalmann said early October is the perfect time to have an event like Fall Festival.

“The weather is cooling down,” she said. “People are even more eager to get out and do things because it’s a little more enjoyable to be outdoors right now. Hopefully, that’ll bring people out.”

Baalmann added having events like Fall Festival allow entire families a chance to do something fun.

“It’s crucial for our community as a whole if we offer events and programming catered to every person in your family,” she said. “There’s no excuse not to come.”

Baalmann likewise said Fall Festival is a great event to have as public events have begun to open back up as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to slow.

“Baker Arts exists to serve the community and make sure its needs are being met,” she said. “We could not be more excited to offer the programming people have requested. We want to be utilized by our community so we can continue to offer unique and inspiring events, activities and experiences.”

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