BANNER ELK — Art on the Greene, Banner Elk’s resident arts and crafts festival, will be returning for its last weekend of the season.
The Labor Day weekend affair will have more than 50 vendors selling high quality crafts from the festival grounds in front of the Historic Banner Elk School property. The town has been hosting the events for five seasons.
Goods made from ceramic, wood, metal, glass and more will be on offer at the festival. Kimberly Tufts, a teacher at Cranberry Middle School, organizes the festivals on behalf of the town. The planning for the next season begins in December of the year prior.
“Every season has been a bigger event than the previous season,” Tufts said. “So that’s a very positive thing. That means more artists coming to town, that means more visitors coming to the High Country, and all of that is a positive thing.”
Tufts added the Independence Day weekend shows are the largest, drawing 96 artists. Next year there will be an event the first weekend in August as well.
Tufts said people are drawn to the atmosphere, quality of the goods on offer from artists and master craftsmen, the friendliness of the artists and the other amenities the High Country has to offer.
“We’re surrounded by beautiful scenery, excellent restaurants and food, and then we’ve got this fine art,” Tufts said. “So it really is a destination weekend.”
Tufts added there is always a vendor creating things like craft leashes, collars and jackets for pets.
Banner Elk Town Manager Rick Owen said the proceeds from the festivals help the town make payment on debt service for the Historic Banner Elk School, which the town purchased several years ago.
The shows are juried, meaning applications are inspected to determine if an artist or craftsman would be a good fit.
The town only makes money off of the vendor fees, and the events can raise from $30,000 to $40,000.
For those who would be interested in having their wares on display in future shows, the town has an online application available by clicking to www.townofbannerelk.org/artonthegreene.