Arts and Vine Festival continues today

May. 04, 2013 @ 10:20 PM

People interested in attending one of the largest pottery festivals of the year have precious few hours left.

The Sanford Arts and Vine Festival, replacing the now defunct Sanford Pottery Festival, is in its third and final day at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center, located at 1801 Nash St. Open from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., people can purchase a variety of goods including pottery, wood carvings, paintings, jewelry while sampling North Carolina wine and beer.

Admission is $5 for the festival (an additional $10 for entry into the wine tent) and Sanford

Area Chamber of Commerce President Bob Joyce called the first two days of the festival an absolute success.

While volunteers, vendors and customers would have preferred for a sunny May day, Joyce said people stood fast against the brisk wind Saturday and most left the civic center with boxes of pottery and bottles of wine. The volunteers, in particular, did amazing work, he said.

“We had a great group of volunteers from all parts of the community,” Joyce said. “It’s been really great to see everyone pull together and continue the success of the festival.”

The festival volunteer coordinator Cindy Howenstein, had more than 70 people working throughout the weekend to sell tickets, t-shirts and food while answering the questions of inquiring attendees.

“I love it,” she said. “It’s been a lot of fun. We went out in the community and asked civic organizations and churches to volunteer.”

Save for a few bumps in the road, the volunteers operated smoothly, she said.

“Everyone has been really happy with our volunteers,” she said. “We’ve received a lot of compliments.”

Linda Dalton, of West End’s Linda Dalton Pottery, said she noticed a welcoming atmosphere at the festival and the addition of the hospitality room for vendors as a nice perk.

“I’ve been participating (as a vendor) since 2006,” Dalton said. “I really like it this year because there are not as many exhibitors and there is a good crowd. It has been a great time.”

Lee County resident Anita Kyles said she and her sisters from out of town attend the festival every year and that she was pleased with the vendors.

Sandra Toliver, who lives in Hoke County, said she attended the festival and made a point to return this year.

“I am having a ball,” Toliver said. “It’s great pottery. I love the food and wine and I buy my gifts here.”

There are 78 vendors scattered throughout the interior and exterior of the civic center with a food court and wine tent.

David Nestor, organizer of the Arts & Vine Festival’s wine tent, said the 10 wineries and two breweries have been a wonderful addition to the festival.

“We are celebrating North Carolina wines and beers,” Nestor said. “And it’s art to make a good bottle of wine and craft a good batch of beer.”

Chad Andrews, of Albemarle-based Uwharrie Vineyard, said he has a love for all things “homegrown and homemade.” The vineyard has participated in the festival in years past and said he enjoys meeting the locals.

“I really love being here,” Andrews said. “All the people come here for a special day plus try some great wine.”

Ken Ostraco, brewmaster for Angier-based White Rabbit Brewing Company, said this is not only their first festival in Lee County but their first festival ever.

“It’s been a good turnout so far,” Ostraco said. “It’s a little chilly but for our first festival, we are having a great experience.”