Vendors set up their exhibits for the Long’s Park Art and Crafts Festival to … – LancasterOnline

THE ISSUE

This season’s Summer Music Series culminated Sunday evening at Long’s Park. This season, concertgoers have enjoyed salsa and Latin jazz, as well as everything from classical to Celtic to Cajun to patriotic music, that last performed by the U.S. Army Concert Band. The series costs an estimated $240,000 to produce annually. Fifty to 60 percent of the series’ funding comes from the annual Long’s Park Art & Craft Festival, which begins at 10 a.m. today.

Let’s be honest: Of the summer holiday weekends, Labor Day has the heaviest lift.

Marking the unofficial end of the season of sunshine and vacations is not nearly as fun as ushering in that season.

Thank goodness for the Art and Craft Festival at Long’s Park. It makes Labor Day weekend something to look forward to, and it makes possible one of the greatest features of summertime in Lancaster.

We wouldn’t even want to contemplate a summer without the Summer Music Series. Where else can you go to enjoy consistently excellent music, from stellar performers, for free?

The two-time Grammy Award-winning Spanish Harlem Orchestra delighted its Long’s Park audience June 28. The indie pop band Lake Street Dive, which performed  July 19, also has appeared on ”Late Show with David Letterman” and “The Colbert Report.”

Angelique Kidjo, a Grammy Award-winning singer from Benin, west Africa, performed at Long’s Park in 2010. She’s just one of the performers who have come from around the world. (This year’s lineup included Socks in the Frying Pan, a trio of traditional Irish musicians from County Clare, Ireland.)

Children are welcome at the Sunday evening concerts — and dogs, too. And not just admission, but also parking, is free. At a time when a typical pop concert costs upwards of $100 a ticket, this is no small thing.

It takes revenue to offer this kind of accessibility.

So please consider attending this weekend’s art and craft festival. The Summer Music Series relies on its success.

“It’s a premier event,” says Dave Wauls, president of the Long’s Park Amphitheater Foundation. “It’s just an exquisite art and craft show.”

And considering the caliber of the artwork and crafts that will be available, admission to the show is very reasonable: $12 for a single day, $18 for multiple days, and just $7 for students.

The festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

While the festival’s director, Cynthia Hendricks, told LNP that the exhibitors are the “cream of the crop,”  she also said this isn’t an event meant only for serious art collectors.

There will be jewelry, sculpture,  glass, ceramics, photography,  paintings  and more — the work of more than 200 artists and craftspeople. There also will be live music, craft beer, wine, food.

And thankfully, the weather forecast looks just fine, so it should be a beautiful weekend in the park.

If you love the Summer Music Series, if you love the idea of offering all of the county’s residents — no matter their income level — the opportunity to listen to great live music on 13 summer Sunday evenings a year, please turn out this weekend to the art and craft festival.

It’s an amazing event, in support of a great cause.

See you at the park.