Arts and Crafts Festival in Nappanee still on for 2020

Published: Jul. 28, 2020 at 5:51 PM EDT
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NAPPANEE, Ind. (WNDU) - It’s been a Michiana summer staple for nearly six decades, and it will continue uninterrupted—but not unaffected—by the the coronavirus.

The latest plans for a 58th annual Arts and Crafts Festival in Nappanee call for a dramatically downsized event.

While past festivals have drawn about 50,000 visitors over a four day run, this year’s version is expected to draw about 15,000.

The number of vendors will be cut by about two thirds and the price of admission has been dropped to $5.00.

“Well we have more space you know, we talked to the mayor of Nappanee and to the city council after they cancelled the apple festival and their spacing is just much smaller,” said Marlin Stutzman with the Barns at Nappanee (formerly known as Amish Acres).

Despite 80 available acres, there is no longer room for three planned entertainment stages.

“So music is out. We’re going to be moving out any of the things that would draw people to one spot in particular for entertainment,” Stutzman explained. “And we’re changing up our model as well. People are familiar with the Shipshewana Flea Market, we’re going to look more like that.”

After all, the folks at the the Barns at Nappanee are among the few to find a way to resume live theater performances in the midst of a pandemic.

The Round Barn Theater is seating people at half capacity with groups of ticket holders spaced six feet apart and required to wear masks.

As for the ‘festival,” it’s now being renamed an Arts and Crafts Market.

“We know it’s not exactly what it was before, but again I’m new at this, but we feel that with the outdoor space that we have we can definitely have the market and be safe,” Stutzman said.

The 2020 event will run from Aug. 6 through the 9.

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