Bloom Fest blooms with arts, crafts, education, music and fun | Local


Some people at Bloom Fest were artists or artisans; others were performers. Danielle Fredrick did what she calls a “double concert” again this year at the Léo-Cedarville festival.

Working under the name Danielle Belle, she provided juggling entertainment with hoops and sticks, while at her stall she sold bubble wands, flow rings and ribbon wands that children could play with. restrict.

“I love the kids,” Fredrick said, pointing to a furry hoop she uses that they like to try. “I’m known as the kids’ corner here.”

Part of her booth featured jewelry made from crystals she and her family found on outdoor excursions, and there was stuff related to tarot cards. In the three years Fredrick has been at Bloom Fest, young people have shown interest in all of this, too.

The diversity of what it offered reflected a small part of the variety of Bloom Fest, which Casey Bishop started five years ago and has continued to host every year since.

Bishop created the event because of his love of art and nature. “I just wanted to share a beautiful day in the park with art,” she said.

“It’s a celebration of our local artists, artisans and local vendors who care about the environment,” she said. They should have a connection to nature, do what they sell, and be from the Midwest – 95% are from northeast Indiana.

Bishop chose the vendors herself and organizes everything with a team of volunteers. Stalls featured items from fine art painters and photographers, candle or jewelry makers, country charm artisans with wreaths of fall leaves and scarecrows with cartoon eyes and painted smiles.

Bishop also had local musicians playing acoustically under the shelter.

It avoids duplication between suppliers. The festival had only two soap makers, two fresh flower vendors and a women’s shop, she said.

Not everyone sold something. Workers at Meadows Flowers and Finds, Indiana’s largest dahlia farm, welcomed people to their booth for information and to receive emails for special event listings, said Abagail Linker, l one of the weed fighters on the farm.

The Allen County Department of Environmental Management spoke about composting and environmental sustainability for community outreach.

Brothers Tim and Jeff Ormiston showed off woodcarvings they made from native woods, including cottonwood trees that fell on Fox Island after the recent storm and trees from Metea County Park.

“It’s been very popular,” and people have a lot of questions about invasive species and local woods, volunteer Tim Ormiston said.

Bishop tries to have something for everyone and only the best quality items, she said. She started with 49 suppliers in 2018 and had 133 this year, she said.

Allie Wray from Grabill and her mother, LuAnn Wray from Warsaw, were back this year.

“It’s a great eclectic collection,” Allie Wray said. The stalls had people ranging from artisans to professional artists.

LuAnn Wray said she liked there were more vendors this year and maybe more than at Amish Acres, where she also likes to go.

Other items available were Saucy Pigeon barbecue sauces, face paint, henna tattoos, succulents, two children’s book makers, a tea vendor, and burnt wood earrings.

Bishop estimated 6,000 people came this year, about the same as last year. The sellers said the public

Lindsey Petersen, who runs her illustration Imaginables on prints, woodcuts and smaller objects while living on a bus, said it was her first art-focused festival and she feared to see how his more avant-garde style would go.

“It seems like people can find something they love about my work,” Petersen said.

Nichole Mix, who sells “art for mental health and soul healing” in the form of original artwork, prints, clothing, magnets and more, said she had returned because she had had a great time last year and loved the eclectic group of artists and artisans.

“The community here is receptive to the artwork I’ve created,” Mix said. “I think it’s enjoying the arts.”

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