The weekend of Friday, April 30 to Sunday, May 2, 2021, Southern Cancer Center was a proud sponsor of the 69th Annual Fairhope Arts & Crafts Festival held in downtown Fairhope, Alabama. Although this year’s event was a little different, with fewer exhibitors allowed to participate due to COVID-19 restrictions and precautions, it was no less successful and well-attended. Thousands of locals from along the Gulf Coast and visitors from neighboring states still enjoyed over 100 exhibitors from the state of Alabama showcasing their best work during this 3-day event.
As an on-site sponsor, Southern Cancer Center was able to speak with countless festival-goers, pass out critical information about cancer prevention and survivorship, as well as information about our physicians and our practice. Of course, our sponsor booth wouldn’t be complete without fun promotional items to give away and a friendly game of cornhole for those wanting to take a break from the crowds. Many of our staff members came out to volunteer at our tent and visit with the community, including a few of our Baldwin County providers such as Dr. Curry McEvoy and nurse practitioner Bethany King. It was a beautiful weekend, with beautiful weather and we are thankful to the Fairhope Arts & Crafts Foundation for once again hosting this nationally recognized, award-winning festival.
To learn more about the history of the Fairhope Arts & Crafts Festival, below is an excerpt from their website: www.fairhopeartsandcraftsfestival.com.
“According to records and newspapers, the Arts & Crafts Festival originally started as a tour, planned to coordinate with the Mobile Jaycees’ Azalea Trail and Mobile Mardi Gras celebrations, with the idea that visitors attending these major events in Mobile would be attracted across the bay, thus allowing visitors and local residents a chance to see some of the many talents of Eastern Shore residents.
The first Arts & Crafts tour took place from February 22 to February 28, 1953. All exhibits were inside store windows and consisted of a wide variety of interests. The tour schedule included entertainment and craft demonstrations and lasted for an entire week. Although some artists did sell items, the majority of the “tour” consisted of exhibits for viewing only.
In 1965 the tour expanded to include exhibitors and activities from the cities of Spanish Fort and Daphne. The week’s opening ceremonies were held in Spanish Fort and ended with a play in Fairhope. In 1967 there were more than a hundred displays, exhibits, and demonstrations. By 1975 craftsmen displayed works and methods in “Craft-Houses” (which were created out of vacant buildings). For the first time in 1978, the show was condensed to three days. This was also the first year craftsmen were placed on the sidewalks, rather than in buildings and businesses.
Today, the Fairhope Arts & Crafts Festival has been named as one of the top 200 Festivals in the United States by Sunshine Artist Magazine for numerous years. As one may see from this history, the Festival has changed in many ways; its exhibitors are no longer only locals; they come from across the United States. The Fairhope Arts & Crafts Festival’s purpose remains the same to promote goodwill and festivity to Fairhope and to exhibit for show and sale the highest quality artwork and craftsmanship available and to host the Festival in the loveliest area in the world.”