Sugar Mound Arts & Crafts Festival returns this weekend

Updated: Oct 20, 2021

MOUND CITY – Organizers of the Sugar Mound Arts and Crafts Festival have been waiting two years to hold the 50th show of the annual event. Concerns about COVID-19 forced organizers to cancel last year’s event for the first time in the show’s history.

But this year it’s back. And organizers have been working to get the Linn County Fairgrounds just north of Mound City on Kansas Highway 7 ready for the event.

“Everybody’s really ready to get back,” said arts and crafts committee Co-chair Kym Hargrove.

The celebration this year begins with the annual Sugar Mound Arts and Crafts parade rolling down Main Street in Mound City beginning at 10 a.m. The theme for the parade is “This is Us.”

A 5K run is also scheduled for Saturday morning, and you can get more details by contacting Robert Kellstadt at (913) 795-2901.

The festival is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. With warm, sunny weather forecast, the field at the fairgrounds should handle much of the parking.

All parking is free and additional parking is also available along Main Street and at the Jayhawk-Linn High School parking lot just east of the city on Kansas Highway 52. Shuttle buses will run to those locations throughout both days.

The committee is expecting more than 300 vendors, about the same amount as 2019, the last year the show was held.

Organizers are also hoping that the pent up demand for going to festivals and buying crafts will help swell the number of shoppers to past levels of up to 10,000 attendees.

Keeping concerns about COVID-19 in mind, Hargrove said that the number of vendors and the amount of space available, it should make it safer for attendees.

“Because there are 300, we space them out for social distancing,” she explained.

Pam George, a committee member, said that members of the organization were concerned about producing the show this year, but at the March meeting the decision was made to go for it.

With some late vendor entries still trickling in, George said that there are many new crafters coming in this year along with several new food booths. But some favorites will still be there.

Centerville Community Church’s walking taco stand will be back. Ditto for Prairie View High School’s soup in a bread bowl. Other food entries include street tacos, Mexican food, tenderloins, bratwurst, mini donuts and barbecue.

Also back this year will be Bonnie New of Mound City. New was at the first event, an art show on the courthouse lawn, in 1971. The threat of rain that year pushed the art show to the shelters at the fairgrounds just north of Mound City, and it has been there ever since.

To keep the memory of past shows alive, the committee is making a display. “We’re going to have a memory board with pictures of the past that are going to be in the Harvest Basket,” Hargrove said.

Hargrove said it was critical to have the festival this year to keep the committee from going broke. The proceeds from the festival is used to provide scholarships to graduating seniors from Linn County’s three high schools.

“I am just really excited to have it and get back to normal,” Hargrove added.

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