Linda McKinney and Mary Walker came from out of town to come to Mountain Makins Saturday.
McKinney came from Blountville to visit for her first time and came away impressed.
“I loved it,” she said.
She bought some earrings and her friend, Walker, bought soap. It wasn’t the first time Mary, who lives in Whitesburg, had been to the festival.
“She loves that soap,” McKinney said, laughing.
The 43rd Annual Mountain Makins festival opened Friday with a preview party and the first full day was Saturday. The last day of the craft and artisan festival will be today.
A cold and rainy day did mean a bit less of a crowd than years past.
Beccy Hamm, executive director of the Rose Center, said there were some products being sold out.
“Crafters are telling me they are going to have to go home tonight and make more,” she said.
The festival was started more than 40 years ago to save the Rose Center, which stands caddy-corner from the Hamblen County Courthouse. The Rose Center was saved and now serves as a hub in the Lakeway Area for the arts.
The festival continued and now helps fund many of the programs the center holds.
The festival Saturday was full of dancers twirling on one stage and bluegrass performers wailing away on another.
“The bluegrass takes the chill out of the air,” said Bill Long, whose on the festival’s entertainment committee.
The festival included bluegrass, Americana and old time musicians.
A third of the vendors and crafters are new this year to Mountain Makins, Hamm said.
“We’re looking forward to great weather on Sunday,” she said.
Just at the entrance, Joseph Dinwiddie, of Little House Industries, had set up his booth. Just a few years ago, he worked as a plumber, but retired after he started doing crafts, showed at a festival and his wares sold well.
He builds bird houses, bird feeders and Kentucky stick chairs.
He does about 30 shows a year, and Mountain Makins is at the top of his list.
“It’s one of my favorite shows all year,” he said.