Working artisans, fall craft demos a highlight of upcoming festival

DOWAGIAC — Working artisans at Under the Harvest Moon Festival in downtown Dowagiac on Saturday, Oct. 13, will demonstrate fine wood burning, wood carving, and crafting decorative fall pieces.

Hosted by the Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce, the fall festival opens at 10 a.m. and brings together collectors of antique farm tractors, a marketplace of Michigan-grown produce, autumn mums, handmade products and antiques, plus children’s activities throughout the day.

Vickie Phillipson, event chairman and program director of the Chamber of Commerce & DDA, said she is pleased to welcome artisan June Grabemeyer, who will provide a spinning wheel demonstration at the Dowagiac Area History Museum from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  A horse-drawn wagon will take visitors to and from the museum.

Also returning is award-winning ice carver Mike Evans, of Edwardsburg.   Evans, who has appeared numerous times at this community’s Ice Time Festival, will present a wood carving exhibition outside Saylor’s Front Street Pizzeria from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

From Dowagiac, wood burning artist Larry Collins, who began drawing at the age of 9, will have pieces of his art for sale.   At 22, Collins became interested in wood burning and has since incorporated many of these items into other art forms such as note cards, limited edition prints and screen printing.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Mud-Luscious, studio artist and owner Michelle Stambaugh will provide a hands-on workshop.  Participants will decoupage paper-mache’ pumpkins with vintage papers, inks and paints.  Families should allow an hour for this multi-media fun and will pay a nominal fee for supplies.

At Rosy Tomorrows from noon to 3 p.m. day-visitors can take part in a hands-on craft class, making decorative fall items.  Participants will pay a nominal fee for supplies.

Entertainment features music by the Van Dyke Revue, guitarist and vocalist Rene Meave, plus performances by Miss Michele & Co., MKSOD and Positively Dance, and a cardio drumming demonstration by the new Lifestyle Nutrition. 

Phillipson said she is pleased to welcome the owners of 20 to 35 vintage farm tractors who will display their units on Front Street, along with more than 30 commercial and community exhibitors from southwestern Michigan and northern Indiana, who will sell antiques, hand-crafted wares and fall produce.

Festival goers will enjoy Cass County’s pulled-pork, chicken and brats from outdoor vendors Smokin’ Good of Cassopolis and Dowagiac’s Smoke Signal BBQ.  Also available will be Hubbert’s kettle corn and elephant ears from Fred Krause, plus Caruso Candy Kitchen’s apple and cider bar, and cinnamon ice cream topped with warm apples.

The Taste of Michigan Wine & Craft Brew will be hosted by The Wounded Minnow Saloon on its outdoor patio.  The restaurant will also feature acorn squash and four other seasonal soups and is sponsoring the Corn Hole Tournament.

Hosted by the Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce, the fall event, which is celebrating its eighth season, has been underwritten by Creative Vinyl Signs, Dowagiac Area History Museum, Kim MacGregor’s office of Edward Jones, Forest Glen Assisted Living, Hale’s Hardware, J&H Oil Company, Leader Publications, Mennel Milling of Michigan, Preferred Printing, Skibbe Business & Tax Service, Smoke Vision Care, Southwestern Michigan College, Town & Country Garden Club and William’s A-1 Expert Tree Service.

For a full schedule of activities or to register for commercial booth space, visit DowagiacChamber.com, its Facebook page or call (269) 782-8212.

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