Ring in spring with the crafty folks at Blue Ox Millworks during the May Day Artisan Festival on Saturday, May 5 and Sunday, May 6 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ($12, $8 ages 9-15, free for kids 8 and under). It's a weekend of history, music, food and fun, harkening back to simpler times.
Watch the sparks fly as blacksmiths swing their hammers and see ceramics take shape on a potter's wheel. There'll be demonstrations of hand lettering, working a vintage printing press, stained glass making and glass blowing, as well as copper tool making. (You might think you're a hipster but do you forge your own copper tools?) If you bring the kids, you might even get some quiet time out of the storyteller and puppetry performances.
If you're more of a do-it-yourselfer, try your hand at dyeing a silk scarf or match your wits against the tricky escape room. Everybody can dance around the May Pole and to foot-stomping live tunes from Doug Fir and the 2X4s, Lone Star Junction, Kenny Ray and the Mighty Rovers, The Lost Dogs, Fickle Hill Band and Thursday Night Bluegrass. Local brews and cider are on hand along with tasty vittles from Sammy's BBQ.
As for souvenirs, peruse the local artisan wares and, if you're up for a commitment, the adoptable shelter dogs. And the festival benefits the programs at Blue Ox, including those for high school students and veterans, which is a tradition we can get behind.