By ANDREA BARKAN
Pilot Staff Writer
Between four and six hundred people of all ages browsed through 100 artists' handmade products Saturday and Sunday at the 10th annual Festival of the Arts in the Port of Brookings Harbor.
"It's better than any other one we've been to," Barbara Butte, of Brookings, said.
She and her daughter Julie Rusch enjoyed chili dogs at the festival Saturday afternoon.
The two said they have come to the festival since it began 10 years ago and they were most impressed this year.
"They have a lot more booths this year," Rusch said. "They have some great stuff. It makes me wish I was rich."
Artists and crafts people displayed a wide variety of items, including sea kelp lamp shades, framed photographs, paintings, jewelry, pots, blown glass and an array of woodwork.
Mark and Linda St. James took home several items from the festival Saturday afternoon.
The couple recently moved to Brookings from the California Bay Area and were pleased with their first festival experience.
"They have good quality stuff," Linda said.
"We're upgrading the show," Festival Chair Jo Mochulski said.
Though entertainment was still part of the festival, Mochulski said the committee decided to tone it down this year.
"The big sound system before was too loud," she said.
Instead, they opted to book individual folk artists to perform at 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
"We're trying to concentrate on the show itself rather than the entertainment," Mochulski said.
Marj Nygowski, of Brookings, spent about five hours at the festival Saturday.
"I come every year just to see what kind of trouble I can get into," Nygowski said.
She admired a booth featuring unique music boxes.
"I think they do a really good job," Nygowski said. "It compares to a lot of art festivals I've been to."
Nygowski added that while the quality compares with more pricey shows, this festival's prices are reasonable.
Mochulski echoed that, saying artisans usually price their products wisely.
"You have good art with various prices," Mochulski said.
"Everybody knows they need to have bread and butter items," she said.
Oscar Lord, of Brookings, brought his 6-year-old daughter Shaina to the festival Saturday.
They spent three hours in the Children's Art and Crafts Corner, Lord said.
"I did every project," Shaina said, adding that she most enjoyed making beaded bracelets and necklaces.
Lord said he looked forward to browsing. "There's some real talent here," he said.
Bill and Linda Pollard, of Harbor, sold wire-wrap jewelry at the festival for the fifth year.
"It's a good show," Linda said. "It's the only home show I do all year. All our friends like to come and see us. We love it. It's home."