By: GrahamBrowning, Columnist
Since 2010, the Fall Indie Craft Parade has provided people in the Upstate with their annual fix of extraordinary local arts and crafts. From more typical art forms like painting and printmaking to unique custom TOMS crafters and salvage artists, this event delivers beautiful items, tasty foods and drinks, and support for local and independent small business.
The exceptional architecture of the Huguenot Mill, which hosts the event, is more than a great backdrop. The exposed wooden beams and sprawling ironclad windows are art forms themselves and add to the enjoyment of browsing merchandise with latte in hand.
Dana Wagner, a student and artist herself, is volunteering this year. The Furman art department encouraged their students to give their time to the event.
“As an artist, it’s always good to connect with fellow creatives and visionaries. It is a great networking opportunity and makes me feel very professional,” Wagner said.
Wagner also attended the event last year. “I think my favorite part was the fact that there were so many successful artists in one place, I have no clue what I want to do with myself after school, so it was nice to see people who made a living by doing the craft they love,” Wagner said.
I attended the parade for the first time last year. Honestly, I could not have prepared myself for what I witnessed. The line wraps around the mill for what seemed like miles. Don’t let that deter you, though. The line moves fast and what is inside is worth the wait. The industrial space framed the vendors’ stands perfectly. Ceramic pieces, intricately knit scarves, personalized paper goods, delicate jewelry, and everything in between is available for purchase. The atmosphere is electric as passionate creators skim the aisles for inspiration.
The Indie Craft Parade is actually a yearlong affair. Special events and classes like calligraphy and coffee brewing are available outside of the famous fall festival. The organizers have an incredible ability to keep the community involved throughout the seasons. A full list of these classes can be found on their website calendar.
This year, the festival should be a real treat. It will feature 80 artists, 33 newbies, and 47 veterans. The event begins this Saturday, September 13 at 9a.m. and lasts until 6p.m. If you cannot make Saturday work, the parade continues Sunday from 11a.m. until 5p.m. Admission is only $2 which goes toward putting the show on again in the future. It is a small price to pay for all the business and beauty the Indie Craft Parade brings to Greenville.
Most vendors take all forms of payment, but make sure you have some cash on hand just in case. Try to bring a reusable tote to carry your goods in. Most of all, bring an open mind. While not everything will be your taste, you will surely find something that strikes your passion.