Cabin Fever Arts Festival returns


The 18th edition of the Cabin Fever Arts Festival presented by the Appalachian Artisans Guild will return to the Patriot Center at Southern State Community College in Hillsboro from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 2. The last two versions of the event were cancelled because of COVID-19.

“Everything is handcrafted and handmade, and you can come and talk to the actual person who made the item,” said Tracy Burske, the festival chairperson and vice president of the Appalachian Artisans Guild.

About 60 vendors will showcase handcrafted arts and crafts.

“We open this up to anyone who does any kind of handcrafted arts or crafts,” said Burske. “It has to be done by hand, and it has to be made by the vendor who is showing.”

Previous festivals have attracted about 800 people. “We’re hoping to get more this year and that after a two-year hiatus everybody will be anxious to come out and see us,” she said.

The Appalachian Artisans Guild is a group that meets monthly at the Presbyterian church in Hillsboro and has been together for 27 years. Each member has a unique craft.

New vendors this year will include a person who creates chocolate pizza and one who makes bark baskets. “He takes barks from trees and shapes them into really incredibly unique baskets,” said Burske.

Fiber arts, which consists of fine art with materials consisting of natural or synthetic fiber and other components like fabric or yarn, will be featured at the event. This art focuses on the materials and manual labor on the part of the artist as part of the piece’s significance. It prioritizes aesthetic value over utility.

“We have one vendor whose wool items are literally farm to table,” said Burske. “She raises the sheep, she sheers the sheep, she makes the wool, and she does all the knitting and crocheting.”

Vendors will be on hand who create food items such as artisan bread, candy, and jams and jellies. Handcrafted pottery, jewelry, quilts and wood-crafted items will also be featured. “We have some people who make wood picture frames from reclaimed wood and then we have people who are doing some sculptures out of wood,” said Burske.

Semiprecious stones and metal art will be used in jewelry items. “We have people doing some very unique things with repurposed items in their jewelry,” she said.

Three musicians, including Steve Free, will be performing at the festival. “A lot of people in Hillsboro know him and are familiar with his work,” said Burske. Randy Pollard will perform at 10 a.m., and Free will begin at 12:30 p.m. Dave Gilliland will round out the show at 2 p.m.

A food truck from Ridgetop BBQ will be at the festival for the duration of the event. “We will have the truck for food so that we will have food available for everyone to come and spend the whole day,” said Burske.

Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.

This is a scene from the last Cabin Fever Arts Festival held at Southern State Community College in 2019. is a scene from the last Cabin Fever Arts Festival held at Southern State Community College in 2019. Submitted photo
18th event will be at SSCC in Hillsboro

By John Hackley

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