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Calico Fort Arts and Crafts fair set for April 8-9

With an expanded antique alley, the return of funnel cakes and the addition of real “firehouse” chili, the 46th annual Calico Fort Arts and Crafts Fair in Fort Deposit is on tap for Saturday and Sunday, April 8 and 9.

The event is sponsored by the Fort Deposit Arts Council and includes exhibits by outstanding craftsmen and artists in all mediums.

There will be entertainment in the amphitheater, which can be viewed from Miss Nettie’s Porch, a fee petting zoo with peacocks, chickens, rabbits, goats, ducks and miniature donkeys, all compliments of Trinity Framing in Montgomery.

And, of course, there will be food. This year the funnel cakes and chili will be offered by the Fort Deposit Volunteer Fire Department, which will benefit from the sales. Hence, real firehouse chili.

Frieda Cross of Cross Printing in Fort Deposit is president of the Fort Deposit Arts Council.

Cross said, “We’ve added to our antique alley. We lost the funnel cakes last year, but we got them back. And a food item we’re adding is bowls of chili.”

She said most exhibitors from the past will return, along with a lot of new ones, along with some “good folks” entertaining the crowds in the amphitheater. “So, we’re planning on a great show,” Cross said.

Cross said all the exhibitors are exciting, but, she said, this year, there will be several people who make pottery. And, she said, “I love to watch them.”

She confirmed that the funnel cakes and chili will be made by the Fort Deposit Volunteer Fire Department and that the proceeds from those sales will be used to “help keep them in operation.”

Cross said there will lots of fun things to do for the children too.

According to Cross, some $2,500 along with trophies and ribbons will be given as awards following judging by an independent judge at the arts and crafts fair.

The Calico Fort Arts and Crafts Fair is said to be one of the oldest, largest and most popular in the South.

The amphitheater was covered just prior to last year’s event, and the Antique Alley, which Cross said was new last year, will be even bigger this year.

Of course, in addition to antiques, there are usually about 125 exhibitors with handmade arts and crafts that are imaginative, beautiful and useful.

Food will include: Hamburgers, Polish Dogs, chicken fingers, fries, barbecue chicken plates, barbecue pork sandwiches, chili, pop corn, cotton candy, kettle korn, homemade sweets, roasted nuts, homemade ice cream, apple dumplings, goat milk caramels, old-fashioned funnel cakes, bottled water, cold drinks, lemonade, tea and hot coffee.

Admission to this year’s event will be $5 for adults and $2 for children.

Calico Fort is located 15 miles north of Greenville and 30 miles south of Montgomery in Fort Deposit off Interstate 65 exit 142. Just follow the signs.

The outdoor show is located on six acres of land with plenty of adjacent parking.