The 17th annual Spring Arts & Crafts Festival took place Saturday and Sunday in Yachats at a former school now known as the Commons and used for just about everything.
Yachats, about 20 miles south of Newport, is the kind of place where you find people in tie-die shirts or long skirts selling everything from flavored vinegar and scented soaps to carved walking sticks and jewelry made out of shells and rocks. Walking down the aisles looking for Father’s Day and birthday presents, I saw racks made out of animal parts (including horns and feet), a ukelele made out of a tin can, and a woman spinning wool into yarn. The displays included lots of jewelry, photography, paintings, teas, chocolates, herbal remedies, crocheted items, books, glass, and wood. And oh yes, my friend Ruth whipped out her violin to play a duet of “You are My Sunshine” with the ukelele guy.
The big festivals in Yachats only happen a couple times a year. The fall event is perfect for Christmas presents. But we have weekly farmer’s markets in Yachats (Sundays, Fourth Street next to the Commons, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.), Waldport (Wednesdays, Community Center, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.), Lincoln City (Sundays, Lincoln City Cultural Center, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and Newport (Saturdays at City Hall, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.), where you can find many of the same items, plus locally grown produce and other great stuff to eat. People on the Oregon Coast are crafty, always making something out of whatever materials are at hand, especially when it’s raining outside. I wonder: Did they come here because they liked to do arts and crafts, or did they start doing arts and crafts because that’s what people do here? All I know is there’s nothing like it back in San Jose.