Carroll Creek Linear Park was packed Saturday with exhibitors showcasing artwork, jewelry, clothing and handmade home goods during the 26th annual Frederick Festival of the Arts.

The festival also offered up hands-on activities for adults and kids alike, as well as demonstrations — a chance for the community to really connect with the artist and their talents.

With more than 100 exhibitors, festival goers could enjoy art in a variety of ways, whether they were in the market or just came to appreciate it.

Hagerstown resident, Sally Irwin, stopped with her sister, Deb Kresge, along the creek to cool off with a cup of mango water ice.

Irwin’s daughter lives downtown, and before meeting her for dinner, the sisters decided to check out the festival.

“We came here years ago, and I haven’t been back,” she said. “So it’s kind of fun. It’s such a cool place, downtown Frederick.”

While browsing among the exhibitors, she bought “one of the coolest things,” copper cattails, which resembled the cattail plant but are made from copper that acts as a wind chime.

Aside from the art festival, Irwin said Frederick offers “so many different fun things” that make it a “really neat community.”

Exhibitors also got a chance to experience what other artists were offering as well.

Benjamin May, owner of Ben May Clay from Westminster, was selling clay pots, mugs, vases, bowls and other household items.

This was his third or fourth year as an exhibitor at the festival, adding that it’s a great show and he loves to see all of the local artists.

“I love the glasswork, there are lots of woodworkers and abstract painting,” he said.

About 20,000 people were expected to descend on the creek for the festival throughout the weekend, according to Jasmine Sneed, director of the Frederick Festival of the Arts.

She loved that the festival is a culmination of hundreds of people participating.

“One thing that is special about the Frederick Festival of the Arts is the incredible variety of art that is presented,” she said. “Our tagline is ‘See art, do art, buy art.’ If you happen to be attending and you’re not in the marketplace because your home is full, you can experience the arts in a way that enables you to enjoy the beauty and engage with the creators.”

Louise Kennelly, executive director for the Frederick Arts Council, said the festival complements the council’s work by raising awareness about the importance of the arts. It also brings the community together and it puts neighbors together on the creek.

“The quality of the art here is extraordinary,” said Anthony Owens, member of the board of directors for the arts council and a local artist. “This is a juried show, so these are some of the best around.

“Frederick is really becoming an art Mecca,” he added “This is a phenomenal example of the enthusiasm and creativity in the area.”

The Frederick Festival of the Arts will also be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday along Carroll Creek Linear Park.

Follow CJ Fairfield on Twitter: @FairfieldCj.

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