Guarded under a canopy of trees, hundreds of local artists, musicians and restaurants lined Cholokka Boulevard in downtown Micanopy Saturday and Sunday. Crowds of locals and families flooded the streets, browsing booths and mingling with visitors.
The 47th annual Micanopy Fall Festival, which took place Oct. 29-30, brought nearly 500 vendors and hundreds of visitors to the historic city’s main road. The arts and crafts festival was free to the public and featured a variety of north central Florida artists, musicians and food trucks. Music by local artists like the Chasing Rabbits Bands and Inisheer Irish Dancers greeted passersby as they browsed the festival’s offerings.
About 12 miles from Gainesville and UF campus, Micanopy is described on the Fall Festival website as “the town that time forgot.” The town, which was founded in 1821, was named after Seminole Chief Micanopy, who led during the Second Seminole War.
Now, Micanopy has a population of less than 1,000 and focuses on preserving its local community, sporting historic tourist destinations like the Micanopy Historical Society Museum and the Montgomery Wall Project.
The festival highlighted a wide array of vendors from throughout Florida — paintings, sculptures, jewelry, apparel and other crafts and products filled the booths alongside the artists operating them. Many vendors set up at the Fall Festival in search of an opportunity to introduce their business to a new audience.
Judy Halas, a Citrus County resident, was a returning vendor at the Micanopy Fall Festival. Halas is the owner of Blue Roof Arts, a company that specializes in resin art and jewelry.
The weekend of the festival, she sold a wide array of pieces — including earrings, trinket trays for jewelry and wall art.
Much of Halas’ resin art contains items like flowers and glitter. She has also been experimenting with wood to make products like clocks and charcuterie boards, she said.
Halas’ first time vending at the Fall Festival was last year, she said, and she decided to return this year after having a successful experience.
“It's always a great festival,” she said. “There's always a lot of people — everybody's very accommodating.”
Others were new to the Micanopy Fall Festival, promoting their art at the event for the first time.
Cyndee Titelius, an Ocala resident and X-ray technician, owns Dirty Girl Soaps and Scents, a hand-crafted soap company.
Titelius has attended a few markets in Florida this year, she said, and wanted to branch out by vending at the Micanopy Fall Festival. The event’s popularity was one reason why she wanted to come out, she said.
“I heard a lot of good things about this one,” Titelius said. “So, I thought I’d try it out.”
College-aged artists also lined the street.
Mckenna Johnson, a 20-year-old UF anthropology senior, attended the festival as a seller for Cross Creek Honey Company, one of the event’s many vendors.
The company, which Johnson said has close to 10 beehives across Florida, sold a variety of honey and honey-based products like hand-carved candles.
This weekend was Johnson’s first year selling at the Micanopy Fall Festival, she said, and the event evoked fond memories.
“I grew up in a farmers market environment,” Johnson said. “My mom used to make stuff and sell them at the market, so this is just kind of nostalgic for me.”
Contact Luna and Isabella at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Follow them on Twitter @LunaBoales and @IsabellaMarzban.
Isabella Marzban is a fourth-year journalism major and an avenue reporter for The Alligator. You'll usually find her going on hikes, listening to classic rock on her record player, and doing yoga with her friends.
Luna Boales is a third-year journalism major and avenue staff reporter. When she's not reporting, you'll find her writing poetry, meditating or reading.