In addition to hosting several of the most popular craft shows in the past few years, Fort Wayne, Indiana will be hosting a new one over Halloween weekend, from October 30 to November 1. Joining Stitches Midwest, Vogue Knitting Live, YarnCon, and several other smaller fairs is Annie’s Craft Festival. Located at the Grand Wayne Convention Center in Fort Wayne, Annie’s Craft Festival is a three-day multi-craft adventure sponsored by the creative force behind Annie’s Publishing.
With Annie’s Publishing being located within thirty miles of Fort Wayne in Berne, Indiana, there is plenty of staff involvement in putting on the Craft Festival. There is also plenty of convenience for knitters, crocheters, quilters, cake decorators, and other generally creative people, since Fort Wayne is an epicenter of the midwest. “If you look at a map, Fort Wayne is less than a two and a half hour drive from several cities: Chicago, Cleveland, and Indianapolis,” says Soho Publishing Editorial Director Trisha Malcolm. The events team at Soho Publishing is the actual force behind the logistics of the event, with all of Annie’s publications being represented at the show.
The diversity of crafts offered by Annies is what sets the Craft Festival apart from other shows in the immediate area. The full docket of classes, beginning at 9:00a.m. Friday morning, includes Machine Quilting, Sewing Bootcamp, Floral Arranging, Paper and Card, and a Master Sugar Cookie Decorating class among over a hundred other offerings. Also, knitters and crocheters will recognize instructors familiar to them from other events, including Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton, Patty Lyons, Lily Chin, and Melissa Leapman.
The Marketplace at Annie’s Craft Festival is home to over a hundred vendors, including the Annie’s Publishing booth. Annie’s Publishing will offer their publications for various crafts for sale at their booth, but it will also serve as a virtual tour of printed materials for those customers less familiar with their offerings. Other booths at the Marketplace include yarn companies, fabric companies, and booths offering notions and accessories. In addition to well-known national brands, the Marketplace will feature a Local Artisans area for Etsy sellers and independent crafters to display and sell their wares with more face-to-face exposure.
On Friday night, Annie’s is hosting a gala dinner with bestselling author Debbie Macomber as the guest speaker. There will also be a meet-and-greet with her in the Marketplace on Saturday, and there will be a Halloween-themed cocktail party on Saturday night. Other events include a Product Runway, where audience members can see and be eligible to win new craft supplies from event sponsors, and a Stitch Doctor for help on a knit or crochet project, at no cost to attendees. On the heels of getting pattern help is a Measuring Station, so the knitter, crocheter, or sewer can use their own precise measurements for a more exact future fit. The Quilt Gallery and Lounge will be open all weekend, and there will be several event-sponsored and booth-sponsored giveaways and prizes throughout the weekend.
The sponsors of Annie’s Craft Festival are giving away one free class to a reader, and the winner will be chosen at random at noon on Wednesday, October 28. Just leave a comment at the bottom of the article to be entered into the drawing for a free class of the winner’s choice, space-permitting. Transportation, lodging, and Marketplace tickets are not included in the drawing.
The Grand Wayne Convention Center is located in the heart of Fort Wayne, on Jefferson Boulevard two blocks west of Highway 27. Registration for Annie’s Craft Festival begins at 3:00p.m. Thursday, October 29. For more information, consult the event website. If attendees cannot join in the fun this year, the Festival is already scheduled for September 16 to 18, 2016, at the same venue.