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April 25, 2013

Two days of music, fiber arts at Clark County fairgrounds this weekend

CHARLESTOWN — How does a weekend filled with weaving, knitting, music and llamas sound?

Organizers of the Indiana Fiber and Music Festival are offering up a unique menu of instruction and entertainment at the Clark County 4-H Fairgrounds on Saturday and Sunday, and they’re hoping to hand down their favorite traditional arts to a new generation.

“What we’re trying to do is educate the public about the heirloom traditions of knitting, spinning, weaving and music,” said festival planning committee member Ann Merriman with Grinny Possum Fiber Arts in Jeffersonville. “We’re trying to target young people to keep the heirloom traditions going.”

Now in its third year, the two-day festival will host vendors of raw fibers, yarns, accessories and finished products from Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and as far away as Texas, with products for everyone from the advanced weaver to the curious novice.

But those curious novices don’t have to remain uneducated about the art of working with fibers and yarns. The festival boasts a robust schedule of workshops on knitting, spinning, weaving and felting, from the most basic techniques to some more advanced skills.

Throughout the day, live music will be performed in two areas from the fairgrounds. The music will be performed by local artists, with most of the tunes falling in the folk and acoustic genres.

“We probably pull in 500 people,” Merriman said. “That sounds small, but it’s growing.”

In addition to craft demonstrations, workshops and live music, the festival will feature food from local vendors and a unique attraction for those who get to the fairgrounds early Saturday. The Clark County Luv-A-Lot Llama Club will host a llama workshop and show beginning at 8 a.m. The show will have three classes, all free, including obstacle, pack and showmanship fundamentals. Don’t have a llama? The Clark County 4-H Club is willing to provide animals from its own herd.

Admission to the festival is free, and workshop class fees range from $30 to $95. Check indianafiberfest.com for more details and a full schedule of workshops and music lineup.

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