Right before last year's Arts at Hayfield Summer Festival, Janis Winter sat on the phone with crafters from areas as close as Hazleton, listening to them tell her that the weather seemed just fine. In Lehman Township, where the festival was to be held, it wasn't.
"It was a mess around here," she said of the Penn State Wilkes-Barre campus that serves as the grounds for the festival. "The hurricane ripped through the area. We had no electricity for three days, it was a state of emergency, and the campus shut down."
And so, the event was canceled for that year, and all thoughts immediately turned to planning for the 28th festival, which takes place from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday.
The Arts at Hayfield Summer Festival showcases more than 120 artisans, musicians and crafters, as well as food vendors, artisan demonstrations, children's activities, an open house at the Friedman Observatory and tours of the historic Hayfield House.
"It's very focused on interacting with members of the community," Winters said. "It's not just people sitting around selling things. We have entertainment all day, as well as demonstrations and activities for children to do."
The festival will welcome the Back Mountain Youth Theatre, with director Gina Major, and its performance of "Jack and the Bean Stalk" this year. The Daisy Jug Band is another new act, a group that plays classic and modern country, oldies, and rock and even employs the use of wash pans for instruments.
The show was more focused on the entertainment aspect in the beginning, but it quickly flourished into an event filled with crafters.
"It was almost like an accident, in the sense that when the festival came to us American craft interest just started to boom," Winters said.
Crafters at the festival deal in everything from pottery, candles, soaps, clothing, stuffed dolls and animals, holiday-centric pieces, glass work, and metal work, among many other things. There are also plenty of vendors that deal in food, from exotic jams that contain bourbon and margarita flavors to various types of salsa.
While the finished product is important, Winter said it's the process that the festival likes to focus on.
"We like to emphasize the demonstration, not just selling of crafts," Winters said. "I had a crafter of ours tell me how much she enjoyed doing a demonstration elsewhere, simply because it was wonderful to have people come by and ask her questions about her craft. It made her feel like she was doing something of value, as opposed to sitting and selling something where someone might walk up to you and tell you that if you knock a couple bucks off what you're selling they'll take it off your hands."
There will also be tours of the historic Hayfield House offered at 11 a.m. and 1 and 2:30 p.m. A DVD that highlights the pastures and home of John N. Conyngham II through photographs and interviews with those who grew up on and experienced life at Hayfield Farm will be sold.
Festival attendees can also take a peek through the campus' Meade telescope in the Friedman Observatory from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
What: Arts at Hayfield Summer Festival
When: 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday
Where: Penn State Wilkes-Barre campus, University Drive, Lehman
Additional info: Hayfield House tours will take place at 11 a.m. and 1 and 2:30 p.m. The Friedman Observatory will be open from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
• 11:30 a.m.: Youth Theatre's production of "Jack and the Beanstalk"
• 12:30 p.m.: Juggling sensation Robert Smith
• 1 p.m.: Tang Soo Do Marshall Arts by Dr. Dudley Snyder
• 2:30 p.m.: Connemara Dancers
• 3:30 p.m.: Just Us, folk music act
• 1 to 2 p.m. and 3 to 4 p.m.: Children's crafts, paper and fabric art and children's pottery
• On-going, all-day demonstrations will go on in certain areas of the festival and include basketry, wood carving, pottery, painting and wheat weaving