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Northport, Ala., Kentuck Festival showcases elite artists


Jan Swoope



The Kentuck Festival of the Arts in Northport, Ala., is annually renowned for its quality and diversity and draws plenty of visitors from the Golden Triangle. The 2010 event Saturday and Sunday will be no exception. On shaded paths meandering through Kentuck Park, neat white tents will house more than 250 invited or juried artists skilled in styles ranging from folk to contemporary art. Many are nationally recognized. 


Two in that elite company are basket weaver Bessie Johnson of West Point and mixed media artist Elayne Goodman of Columbus. 


"At Kentuck, you meet a whole different level of clientele; people come to that show from everywhere in the U.S.," said Goodman, who is currently focused on making smaller pieces that she is often known for. "A lot of dealers come there. That''s how you meet the movers and shakers, at that type of festival." 


Selected as one of the Top Ten Art Fairs and Festivals in the country by American Style magazine, Kentuck, as it''s known, is also popular for its educational craft demonstrations with experienced basket makers, blacksmiths, furniture makers, quilters and traditional potters.  


Children are invited to get hands-on at the Clay Place, the Musical Petting Zoo, at the Corn Shuck Dolls tent, and with the West Alabama Quilters'' Guild and Woodworkers Association of West Alabama. They can also try paper making, tie-dying or drawing self-portraits. 


For music buffs, entertainment on two stages from 11 a.m. until about 4:30 p.m. will showcase eight acts, among them the Vogt Family Contra Band, University of Alabama Crimson Jazz Quartet, Lost Bayou Ramblers and bluesman Ben Prestage. 


Food vendors near each stage area will be open throughout the day. 


A two-day festival pass for Saturday and Sunday is $15 per person. Daily tickets are $10 per day. Children under 12 are admitted free.  


Festival hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Limited parking is available at Kentuck Park. Free continuous shuttles will run from picturesque downtown Northport to the park from 8:45 a.m. until 6 p.m.  


For a complete list of artists, music schedules, maps and more, go to, or contact the Kentuck Museum at 205-758-1257.


Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.


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