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Saxonburg to revive arts festival with Artisan Market

People walk down Main Street for arts, crafts and food during the 2022 Saxonburg Festival of the Arts. Butler Eagle file photo

SAXONBURG — For the third time in as many years, Saxonburg will have a different arts festival on its streets in early fall.

September will mark the debut of the Saxonburg Artisan Market, the spiritual successor to the borough’s longtime Festival of the Arts.

The first Artisan Market is scheduled for Sept. 7 and 8 on Main Street. The times are yet to be determined.

Earlier this month, the organizers created a Google Form to attract potential vendors.

The schedule for the Artisan Market is still being worked out. However, the Google Form states that the event will feature “authentic artisans, artisans in action, food vendors, music performances, children's activities, and other special programs.”

“There's a committee right now that's meeting to try to get notices out to the vendors,” borough council member Dave Johnston said.

This also spells the end for Minglefest after only one season. Minglefest, which was held on Main Street in September, served as a temporary replacement for the former arts festival, and was organized by the Saxonburg Area Business Association.

“Last year’s Minglefest was planned at a later date because it just sort of happened,” Johnston said. “This is something they’re planning right now, so there should be plenty of time to organize and get vendors.”

The Artisan Market will face slightly less competition within the borough for attendance. Last year’s Minglefest, and more recent arts festivals, took place at the same time as Sprankle’s Octoberfest, which took place at the nearby Saxonburg Volunteer Fire Company grounds.

This year, however, Octoberfest organizer Doug Sprankle is moving the event to Sprankle Woods, his new 39.4-acre property located mostly in Jefferson Township.

During the council meeting Tuesday night, there was a motion on the table to request the closure of Main Street for the scheduled date and time of the festival. However, Mayor William Gillespie brought up some logistical concerns, as the organizers requested to close Main Street for 13.5 hours on the Saturday and 10.5 hours on the Sunday.

“To close the street for that many hours in one day requires fire police at three different intersections for the whole day,” Gillespie said. “I don’t think we have fire police available that would be willing to do that.”

As a result, the request was tabled.

“This does not reflect our excitement and interest in the event in any way, shape or form,” council president Aaron Piper said. “We just need to make sure that we have the legalities for road closures covered.”

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