LOOKING BACK AT 2012: Pottery Festival comes to a close
Editor's note: The Sanford Herald will count down five of 2012's biggest local headlines each day in the coming week. This is the first: The end of the Sanford Pottery Festival.
The Sanford Pottery Festival, known for attracting thousands of art lovers to Lee County the weekend before Mothers' Day, ended this year, with local businessmen and civic groups hoping to fill the void with a new event.
Sanford Pottery Festival Director and Co-Founder Don Hudson announced the end of the festival — described as the largest pottery event in North Carolina — this summer, citing local governments' lack of a tourism bureau and ability to promote the community.
Hudson said his personal life and professional work at D.K. Clay Pottery suffered as he tried to run the festival without assistance, and it was time for him to withdraw.
The new event, called the Sanford Arts & Vine Festival, will focus on pottery, but also feature other locally made arts and crafts, including food, drink and live music, said Sanford Area Chamber of Commerce Chairman Tom Snell, who became involved with the pottery festival when his wife became a vendor.
The two-day event is scheduled for the weekend before Mother's Day, May 4 and 5, at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center, Snell said, adding that outreach to various artists will bring a diversified crowd. The festival will still celebrate the area's pottery heritage, as well as the growing artistic community, he said.