Big crowds are expected this weekend for the Downtown Washington Inc. Fall Festival of the Arts & Crafts.
Vendors selling handmade goods started to set up along Main and Elm streets Friday morning, according to Cassidy Lowery, events and promotion specialist with the downtown organization.
The fall festival kicked off Friday night and runs through Sunday afternoon on and around the Main and Elm streets parking lot. The adjacent Farmers’ Market also will be open all weekend.
Festival hours will be Friday from 4 to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
A large food court, kids zone, live music and other special activities will be featured all weekend, said Lowery.
“This is our kickoff to the fall season,” she said. “The festival caters to the whole family so we encourage everyone to come down and check it out.”
The festival will be held rain or shine, she added.
A total of 65 vendors, all selling handmade arts and crafts, are featured this year. Visitors will find clothing, paintings, furniture, home décor, sweet treats, candles, jewelry and many more items.
Live music will be featured all weekend. It was scheduled to kick off Friday with Dave Bennett from 4 to 7 p.m.
On Saturday, the Osage Angels will perform from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. followed by STL (Sheila, Tom and Larry) from 2 to 6 p.m. The Washington Brass Band will close out the event on Sunday from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.
The Kids Zone will feature a petting zoo Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tinkerbell the friendly Dinosaur will be there all day Saturday and Sunday, along with Wonder Woman Saturday and Captain America on Sunday.
Waldo and McGruff the Police Dog will be making appearances as well.
A Chair & Flair booth, previously called Charming Chairs, will be open all three days. It will feature decorated chairs and other furniture and home decor items that have been donated. Visitors can bid on the items throughout the weekend. Online bidding also will be accepted.
Bids will be accepted until 2 p.m. Sunday, and all purchases must be picked up by 4 p.m. that day.
Proceeds will benefit continued historic preservation in Downtown Washington.
There will be plenty to eat and drink at the food court all weekend, Lowery said.
Among the local vendors will be Sugarfire, Streetside Tacos, Driftwood and the Lions Club.
Food items will include nachos, tacos, pulled pork burgers, funnel cakes, fried pickles, gyros, smoothies and fresh squeezed lemonade.
Lowery said she expects thousands of visitors, both from the area and outside of the community, to attend.