Lake Caroline Arts and Crafts Show

originally published September/October 2016

Every fall, families gather to peruse locally-made items, see artisans at work, and enjoy a lakeside picnic. It’s all a part of the Lake Caroline Arts and Crafts Show—an annual event put on by the Lake Caroline Home Owners Association where around 50 vendors offer a variety of handmade wares.

This year’s art show will be held Saturday, October 15, from 9 am to 3 pm at the Bellevue clubhouse. Started in 2008 to provide a venue for true artisans to share their crafts, Lake Caroline resident and committee member Paula Ohlmeyer says that the show’s eighth year will be the best one yet.

“It’s really about showcasing local talent,” says Ohlmeyer, who has been helping organize the event since its beginning. “It’s a little bit of everything for every interest.”

There’s always a wide range of elements displayed. Jewelry, pottery, wood, metal, glass, photography, and art are just some of the variety that can be expected. All-natural items such as soap and baked goods are available as well.

Vendors set up booths in and around the clubhouse that overlooks the beautiful Lake Caroline, and guests can also purchase boxed lunches provided by the Mermaid Café.

While there is no charge to have a booth, each one has to be pre-approved. Ohlmeyer says that its the showcasing of only true artisans that sets them apart from other arts and crafts shows. The authenticity and expertise of those involved has brought back vendors and visitors alike. In fact, many of the artists featured are members of the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi.

Since the show is centered around giving local talent a platform, the majority of artists are from Lake Caroline or the surrounding area. However, there are vendors from other cities and states as well.

The Lake Caroline Arts and Crafts Show has its regulars, including Lake Caroline resident Tom Root. Root is a cork artist who creates everything from fish to flowers using wine corks, as well as melts down bottles to make cheese trays. He’s been a vendor at the show since its beginning and now shares a booth with another artist who paints on silk. “I just want to support Lake Caroline,” says Root.

Leslie Puckett from Gluckstadt has also been selling at the show for several years. Puckett is an aromatherapy crafter who hand makes soaps, lotion bars, sprays, and more, with organic herbs and essential oils. “The people are great,” Puckett says. “The customers always have a great time. It’s a well-run show.”

Other loyal vendors include the Powells, a couple from Flora who make frames and signs, and Tamra Hedgepeth with her unique wooden scenes. In addition, author Laurie Parker will be there signing her books.

This year’s show will have more of a musical component as well. The Mississippi Girls Choir will perform, and a Lake Caroline resident usually comes out to strum his guitar.

Each year, Ohlmeyer says they try to have a demonstration where both adults and children can see an artisan at work. In the past, they’ve had a blacksmith, as well as a woman who made fiber banners, explain their artistic process.

There are also plenty of fun activities for children, including face painting and a pumpkin patch where kids can pick out and paint their own pumpkin.

Ohlmeyer says the event is a convenient way for residents to come and shop, as well as an avenue for artisans to display their work. They even have a team that helps unload vendors’ vehicles and pack up booths. “It’s very volunteer-oriented,” says Ohlmeyer.

Admission to the event, as well as parking, is free.

For more information, visit the Lake Caroline Arts & Crafts Show Facebook page. You can also call 601.898.1370 or email LakeCarolineArtShow@gmail.com.

-Abigail Walker

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A freelance writer from the Deep South with a love of reading, writing, dramatic storytelling, indie music, and her corgi pup.

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