Autumn Jubilee continues today with music, food and crafts

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 5, 2014

The 35th annual Autumn Jubilee kicked off Saturday with Carolina blue skies, a wafting scent of freshly cooked food, more than 100 unique crafts and four bands serenading attendees.
Hundreds of people filled Dan Nicholas Park, perusing various vendors and enjoying the calm weather. Among the field of tents were more than 150 craft vendors. Some vendors said their crafts started out as a hobby, while others use their craft as a full-time job.
For Connie Morris, the jubilee was a chance to finish up work on UFOs. Morris, a member of the Olde Rowan Fiber Guild, wasn’t talking about aliens. She said UFOs in crafting lingo are projects that have been put off and never quite completed. She was working on an angel made of beads, while her fellow fiber guild member Juanita House was crocheting a blanket.
“Oh I love it,” Morris said about the jubilee. “I tell my husband that he buys tools and I buy crafts. I’m actually finishing a project I started a long time ago and never got back to.”
Just a few hundred feet away was Matt Hatley, another passionate crafter. Though Hatley’s tools of the trade were a little more heavy duty — knives and chainsaws. Hatley’s tent and tables were filled with wood carvings of all shapes and sizes.
Frankie Tucker, a friend and relative of Hatley, talked to potential customers, while Hatley used a chainsaw to chisel a chunk of tree.
Throughout their lives, Hatley said, he and Tucker played around with tools, creating crafts. Six years ago, they took their crafts a step further by bringing their creations to Autumn Jubilee.
“As long as you don’t cut your fingers or toes off and are safe, at the end you’ve done something,” Hatley said. “What I really like to see is bringing a piece of wood back to life.”
An interesting aspect of his craft, Hatley said, is never knowing what a creation will turn out to be. For example, the church he was carving Saturday was originally supposed to be an owl, Hatley said, but he wasn’t sure if he’d decide to change it up during the carving process.
The more than 150 crafters will return to Dan Nicholas Park today for the jubilee’s second day.
Many of the activities and booths will remain the same, though the musical lineup is slightly different. Gates open again at 10 a.m. today.
Music begins at 11 a.m. with Melvis and continues until 5 p.m. when Darrell Harwood ends the jubilee’s musical activities.
The Autumn Jubilee’s parking and entry is free.

Contact Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.