Embrace the LF Arts and Crafts Fair next weekend

Next weekend, Sept. 8 – 9, for the 40th year, Little Falls will become a showcase for this area and, indeed, for all of Minnesota.

Tens of thousands of visitors will descend on the community with spendable cash in their pockets. After surviving some lean years at the beginning of the Great Recession, this year’s fair will have about four dozen more vendors than last year’s, including 108 first-time vendors. St. Cloud travel author Lisa Meyers McClintick calls it, “Minnesota’s most legendary art show.”

Local residents know that the event is far more than an arts and crafts show. In Le Bourget Park, the 10th annual Antiques and Collectibles Fair will be held. In addition, this year for the first time, 34 companies will be selling national brands at  a Marketplace Fair on West Broadway.

And Sunday, the Lone Eagle Auto Show and Swap Meet will again be held at the Morrison County Fairgrounds, with 400 to 500 classic vehicles expected to be shown.

Over the 40 years that the Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce has been organizing this event, the wisdom of the organizers has evolved, changing the fair from a little event designed to help local artists and crafters, into a communitywide celebration. For many of the local non-profit organizations, parking, food booths and garbage pick-up are, if not the largest, one of the major fundraising events of the year. The Arts and Crafts Fair is one of those rare moments when we know for sure that the balance of payments flows into the county instead of out.

For those visitors picking up this newspaper for the first time, welcome to Morrison County. We hope you have a great time at our Fair, and that you spend plenty of money. We can assure you with confidence that somewhere in Little Falls during the Fair, you will find an item that you either have never seen before or for which you have been searching for a long time.

For those residents to whom the celebration has become old hat, we encourage you to embrace the disruption in your daily and weekly routine. Volunteer your time where needed for the organizations you care about, and otherwise join the visitors in making the Arts and Crafts Fair the great event that it is.

Little Falls is a great community and this is our chance to shine.