For the fifth time, Amish Acres has been selected by the American Bus Association as a TOP 100 event in North America solidifying the festival’s standing in the top echelon of America’s festivals dedicated to the creative arts. In addition, the Arts and Crafts Festival was recognized for the first time as a top 10 event in the state by AmericaTheBeautiful.com and Top Events USA.
The event’s 2014 “Proud as a Peacock’s Plumage: The Colorful World of Art” theme is derived from the new “It’s A-Peeling” apple art. This interactive outdoor art exhibit places 4-foot high fiberglass apples, designed and painted by local artists around Nappanee and funded through individual and corporate sponsorships. Amish Acres apple features a peacock in full plumage promoting Amish Acres historic Kuhn’s Apple Cider Mill, ranked one of the Top 10 Cider Mills in America.
Over 300 artists and crafters from 35 states will surround the Amish Acres pond to ply their trade and sell their wares. The event brings to the northern Indiana historic farm a marketplace filled with the creations of artists and artisans from every corner of the country.
Nearly 60,000 visitors, many representing third generations, descend on the farm annually for the celebration that includes live strolling musicians and entertainment on four stages throughout the day, festive food from apple pie to zucchini bread, and $5,000 in cash prizes awarded by professional judges from 900 entries in the competition tent.
The fourth generation of the founding family is involved in the festival’s planning and production. CEO Richard Pletcher is founder of the festival and Amish Acres and Jennifer Pletcher Wysong is the festival director. The event started as a clothes line show in downtown Nappanee during sidewalk days in 1962. Amish Acres was created and grew out of the demand from the early festival’s visitors for Amish-related experiences and products.
Over $250,000 in cash prizes have been awarded over the last five decades. The Best of Show collection is on permanent display in the new Arts & Crafts Best of Show Museum, located in the Barn Loft Wine Room of Amish Acres Restaurant.
In recognition of last year’s Golden Jubilee event, a Senate Resolution from the Indiana General Assembly was awarded by Sen. Ryan Mishler. Rep. Rebecca Kubacki presented commendations from the Indiana House of Representatives, and Pletcher was named a Distinguished Hoosier by former Gov. Mitch Daniels. Additional recognition to the half-century achievement included a key to Nappanee, presented by Mayor Larry Thompson and recognition from Nappanee Public Library and Elkhart County Convention and Visitors’ Bureau.
Festival hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday to Saturday, Aug. 1-3 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors (60 & older), active military, and students 12 – 17, and children under 12 are free. Parking is free with several parking areas and six entrances for visitors’ convenience.
Pre-event tickets and four-day passes can be purchased online.