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Arbutus Arts Festival going strong in 39th year

Keith Lanahan of Arbutus looks over the variety of jewelry pendants at the Glass by Novelteez display by artist Jennifer Sappington, also of Arbutus, during last year's Arbutus Arts Festival. More than 200 vendors are again expected to line East Drive for Sunday's event.
Keith Lanahan of Arbutus looks over the variety of jewelry pendants at the Glass by Novelteez display by artist Jennifer Sappington, also of Arbutus, during last year's Arbutus Arts Festival. More than 200 vendors are again expected to line East Drive for Sunday's event. (File photo/ 2011)

On May 20, tens of thousands of people will again swarm downtown Arbutus to hunt for treasures and enjoy the festivities at the 39th annual Arbutus Arts Festival.

That's good news for Lansdowne resident Harold Goodman, who with his wife, Anna, has manned a booth at the festival off and on for the past 10 years.

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While Goodman displays his hand-carved wooden Santa Claus figurines, his wife of 39 years displays examples of her decorative paint jobs and hand-sewn materials.

Two years ago, Goodman sold a dozen of his figurines at the festival.

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But the businessman judges success by more than sales during one Sunday in May. He's more interested in how much business he gets in the days, weeks and months following the annual event.

"It's really good advertising for us," he said. "It keeps community people coming back to the community."

Though the husband and wife team started their business, Goody's Folk Art, 15 years ago, he said some people may not realize they have a shop in Elkridge where they can order custom goods, like Santa Claus wearing a Baltimore Ravens jersey.

Based on the trend Goodman has seen at craft shows he attends all over Maryland and as far away as Ohio, he and the other crafters should enjoy success at the Arbutus Arts Festival.

"People don't want the plastic junk coming out of Walmart," Goodman said.

Sue Miller, in her fourth year as chairwoman of the festival, said it typically draws 50,000 to 60,000 people, but there is no precise way to get a count of the attraction of more than 200 crafters stationed along East Drive showing off their handmade goods.

Miller bills the event as "the largest one-day festival in Maryland" and said she will have 300 volunteers helping to run the event.

Millersaid crafters geared toward kids will have their stands near the Children's Corner, which features rides, games, and activities.

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