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Pound Ridge Arts & Crafts Fest Shines Despite Rain

POUND RIDGE, N.Y. – Photographer Anne Raftopoulas sat across from her display at the 21st Annual Arts & Crafts Fall Festival in Pound Ridge and squinted into the bright noon-day sun on Sunday afternoon. She didn’t mind – the sunshine was welcomed.

After enduring a rainy Saturday, which kept many attendees at bay, exhibitors and organizers of the festival were grateful for Sunday’s good weather.

“Yesterday was pretty bleak,” Raftopoulas said. “But today is so much better.”

Raftopoulas is a Pound Ridge native and 2003 graduate of Fox Lane High School. She’s an alumnus of the Hallmark Institute of Photography who said that the festival marked the one year anniversary of the start of her business, Anneraft Photography. She exhibited last year as well.

“Last year, this place was really crowded,” she said.

More than 50 vendors were on hand to exhibit and sell their arts and crafts, which ranged from oils to watercolors to jewelry, pottery, photography and handmade soaps. Vendor attendance was down slightly from previous years when more than 70 would exhibit, due to a conflict with a large exhibition in New York City, said show manager Agnes Doria, of the Pound Ridge Business Association.

“We’re a small show,” she said. “So we can’t really compete with the larger ones. And attendance was down yesterday because the weather was terrible. But people are in a much better mood today. The exhibitors are much happier because people are buying.”

The Pound Ridge Business Association makes money off the show by charging the vendors for booth space. The proceeds go toward the beautification of the Scotts Corner business district.

“We attract artists from all over – including Canada,” Doria said. “We have Virginia Peak here, a renowned artist whose work is incredible. Well, they’re all incredible.”

The food concession that Doria was helping to run was donating its profits to Camp Rising Sun, a camp for kids with cancer in Rocky Point, Conn.

“They’re a great charity,” Doria said. “They do great things.”

The festival also attracts local artisans. Mia Camacho-Fitzgerald, who owns the Clean Ridge Soap Company, a Pound Ridge-based manufacturer of hand-made soaps, was on hand to tout her wares.

“I’ve been coming to the festival for eight years,” she said. “I’m doing okay today because the weather’s great. But I always do well here because soap is soap and we have a good price point.”

Fitzgerald said people check out her products at the festival and maybe buy one or two things and then end up reordering more from her website.

On Sunday, families milled around the business district’s sidewalks and park, pushing strollers and guiding youngsters who had colorful balloons tied to their wrists that had the words “Pound Ridge Arts & Crafts Fair” written on them. The balloons weren’t available on Saturday and Raftopoulus thought their addition helped boost the festival’s attendance on the second day.

“Kids love balloons,” she said.

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