Manchester Main Street (MMS) is extremely grateful for all the wonderful community support that helped make last weekend’s first-ever Eel River Arts Festival a huge success. The June 14-15th event, showcasing North Manchester’s innovative cooks, talented entertainers and amazing artisans, would not have been possible without the partnership of the Town of North Manchester, Manchester Garden Club, Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church and The Firehouse. The Eel River Gardens, located at the intersection of Main and Market Streets in the heart of downtown, was beautifully transformed into a festive venue for creativity, imagination and fun. Set against the backdrop of North Manchester’s new historic streetscape and overlooking the Eel River, what better way to highlight our beautiful town and scenic river?
Friday’s ticketed “Celebration of the Arts” Party’s select appetizers were prepared by the Brewhouse Bistro, Main View and KenapocoMocha. Main View and Zook’s Café created exclusive dinner selections. And, Nordmann’s Nook served up delectable desserts. Cash bar and specialty drinks were provided by Main View. Live local musical entertainment was courtesy of the North Central String Association, Mandy Underwood and Rachel Brandenburg, and DJ Paul Howard. And, event guests took home numerous one of a kind silent auction treasures generously donated by area businesses and artisans, as well as, designed their own personalized gift bag party favors.
Saturday’s Art Fair featured the unique pottery, jewelry, painting, mixed media and photography of 15 area artists – Jeremy Ashcraft (ThruTheShutter), Kellie Brace (Dorothy-Ilene Gallery), Hannah Burnworth (Milk House Studio), Carlene Cripe (CC’s Paris Flea Market), Janet Ecklebarger (Glean Design), Gazina Jumper (Z’s Photography), Karen Meyer (Nouveau Glass Works), Joe Pelka (Pelka Ceramics), Terry Pulley (Art Work), Sally Rich (Blue Door Fair Trade), Jane Seely (Jewelry by Jane), Susie Sharfman (JustBeadCause), Chuck & Lyndsey Springer (Sharp Dressed Van), Mark & Mary Tuttle (M&M Photography), and Elizabeth Wamsley (Lake in the Woods Studio). Beautiful perennial and annual plants from Country View Greenhouse were also available for purchase. Kids activities included craft making workshops, pottery demonstrations by Christy Schuler and face painting by Rachel Kruger (Kruger Doodles). And, MMS provided food for sale furnished by KenapocoMocha and Main View.
We extend a heartfelt thank you to the MMS Board members, countless volunteers and event attendees who played a huge role in creating a memorable first-ever Eel River Arts Festival. Special recognition goes out to Lynn Beery for her tremendous help in organizing the Art Fair, Janet Ecklebarger for designing and furnishing the event banner, JP Freeman for Friday’s sound system and set-up, Susie Sharfman for donating craft supplies, and Connie Graham, Susan Ring, Amanda Taylor and Gwen Wimmer for assisting and inspiring Saturday’s craft making creativity. Eel River Arts Festival event photos by Michele Graham can be viewed on MMS’ Facebook page. For more information, visit MMS’ website, or contact Renata Robinson, MMS Executive Director.