NAPPANEE — More than one hundred entertainers and performers have been assembled from near and far to fill four full days of free scheduled music and dance sets during the Amish Acres 54th Annual Arts & Crafts Festival Thursday, Aug. 4 through Sunday, Aug. 7. Barbershop quartets, jugglers, and clowns will be strolling the grounds, along with Liza and Mark Woolever, playing folk songs and bluegrass breakdowns, to delight children and adults alike as they shop nearly 300 unique artists and crafters from every corner of the country. Visitors relax under the shade of tents while musicians, dancers, marionettes, and magicians entertain on three stages and in the Entertainment Tent during the nationally acclaimed event.
Whether it be the old time banjo tunes of Lynn Frederick and the Knock Knock Hoosier String Band, the line dancers of Tri-County Kickers, Inclognito cloggers, or square dancers, the rhythms and steps won’t be that much different than they were over fifty years ago on the streets of Nappanee when the festival was first started in front of Pletcher Furniture Village as a clothes line art show.
In the Entertainment Tent, the popular La Monte’s Gray Horse Band will showcase La Monte Heflick of Granger, Indiana, alongside his five other talented band members, a reunion of sorts. Several of the original band members have rejoined the group after decades away for the festival. Due Process will play popular country and classic numbers each of the four days of the event and there will be a worship service at the beginning of the festival on Sunday morning, Aug. 7.
For over twenty years, in the European and American tradition of the old-fashioned traveling sideshow, Chris Camp keeps the art of cracking the whip alive with his act that has made him a three-time world champion, taking him to “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”, NBC’s “America’s Got Talent”, the “2007 Guinness Book of World Records”, and “Ripley’s Believe it or Not”. He is also featured in a recent film “Breaking and Entering”. Chris performs historical feats including Dead Man’s Chest, Cut Throat, The William Tell, and Blind Man’s Bluff, and may throw in a bad joke or two.
Children take center stage as the Stephen Gubi Children’s Entertainment Tent will once again feature the internationally known Stevens’ Puppets Marionettes and the timeless story Rumplestilsken. A festival favorite, Ken Ernsberger will also be in the Children’s Entertainment Tent with his magic show.
To top off the festivities, Amish Acres will be offering its tours, rides, shops, famous Family-Style Restaurant, and Beer Garden. The Round Barn Theatre will have a busy schedule during the four day festival, showing five performances of Crazy for You along with one performance of the Broadway musical Plain and Fancy. In addition, song selections from both shows performed by The Round Barn Theatre cast will be presented on the outdoor Americana on Parade Stage. Call the box office in advance for show times and reservations for performances in The Round Barn Theatre at 800-800-4942 ext. 2.
Festival hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4 to Aug. 7 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 9. Admission charge for the Amish Acres Arts & Crafts Festival is $7 per adult, $6 for seniors, students 12 – 17; active military and children under 12 years old are free. Free parking is available. Pets are not allowed on festival grounds. Amish Acres is located on Highway U.S. 6, one mile west of downtown Nappanee, Indiana. For more information call 800- 800-4942 or their website.