First Friday Arts and Crafts Fair is holding its first event on Friday, May 7, at the Lake County Courthouse lawn from 5 – 9 p.m.

The event will feature about a dozen vendors, along with curbside concessions from the Alger Theater. Organizer Susan Ohls started the effort to bring a street fair to downtown Lakeview once a month. She sought to draw in people who create arts and crafts, and those who mostly work from home, and have them sell their wares in one spot.

She said the goal is to get people into downtown Lakeview, and to shop and support local businesses. It will take place on the first Friday of every month through the summer.

Originally Ohls was going to have the event take place on north E street in Lakeview, but when she brought the idea to Lake County Sheriff Mike Taylor he raised some concerns related to traffic control and keeping people safe from distracted drivers. Ultimately the Lakeview Town Council did not approve the closing of north E street for the arts and crafts fair.

Not long after, the project received approval from the County to use the courthouse lawn, and Ohls was excited. The venue changes means the event will be in downtown Lakeview, without the need to close the street.

Some of the vendors include Jane Lincoln, selling crotchet and knitted items; Autumn Young, selling her beaded jewelry; Nina Collins, selling a variety of items such as shopping bags, wall plaques and key chains; Gary and Anita Arntz, selling their sandblasted carvings; Jennifer Simpson, selling hand-painted decorative wooden plaques; and Jessica Fox, offering earrings and pendants. Other vendors will have handmade knives, watercolor paintings, bath bombs, leather crafts and more.

The first event is the perfect time to pick up a Mother’s Day gift, as Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 9.

With the goal to bring people to the downtown area, several businesses will be open later that evening.

For more information email firstfridaylakeview@gmail.com.

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