Festival devotees brave the heat for annual Woodcarving and Fine Arts

Chris Owens of the Northville Rotary Club poses with a restored 1948 Penn Yan 14-foot runnabout boat which was up for sale on Saturday for $4,500 or the best offer they can get. Owens was one of the Rotary members who rehabilitated it. (The Leader-Herald/Eric Retzlaff)

NORTHVILLE — With the temperature about 90 and humidity near 70 percent, visitors to the annual Northville Woodcarving and Fine Arts Festival came in dribs and drab—not the usual flow of crowds the festival attracts.

Still, the juried festival drew people in search of artistic items that are unusual and high quality.

“I look forward to it every year because there’s so much talent here,” said Sally Peck of Northville.

“You see a lot of quality art all in one place,” said Ray Anthony of Clifton Park.

Dianne Knapp of Northville came to the opening reception on Friday. “I enjoy being able to talk to the artists,” she said.

“You see their artwork and the personality behind the artwork and their process.”

The Northville Northampton Historical Museum was also an attraction. “I love tools whether they’re old or new,” said Dorothy Jager of Tribes Hill. For example, she came across a scythe and learned how it was used.

About 60 vendors were at the festival, said Susan Owens, who coordinated the event for the Northville Rotary Club.

Among the wares on sales were jewelry, hand-hewn wooden chairs, flutes, dream catchers, wooden toy trucks, sun catchers, paintings, pottery, baskets, clothing of various types, and food, of course.

The festival includes items for silent auction as well as a raffle for a canoe.

A prime item up for sale by the Rotary was a restored 1948 Penn Yan 14-foot runnabout boat and trailer with a Johnson motor for $4,500 or the best offer they can get.

Donated by a family in Edinburg, it “had to be totally redone,” said Chris Owens, one of the Rotary members who rehabilitated it. “We had to strip it all down and refinish it. The trailer was like a rust bucket.” The boat’s wood is ceder and oak.

Owens said the vessel is “part of the history of boats made in New York state,” Those wooden boat manufacturers went out of business when fiberglass came along, he said, but fiberglass doesn’t have “the beauty of a wooden boat,” he said.

Proceeds from the boat and the festival are given as charitable donations to the community. The Scouts, parent-teacher organization projects, the youth commission, Fulmont Community Action Center have been some of the recipients of the Rotary’s generosity.

The festival will continue today from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

By Josh Bovee

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