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Weather doesn’t keep crowds away from Remington Festival

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CANTON — The artistic legacy of Frederic S. Remington was celebrated once again despite inclement weather Saturday at the 11th Remington Arts Festival.

The rain drove most events indoors, but horse-drawn wagons rumbled through downtown Canton as volunteers from Canton High School, dressed in period clothing, pointed out important sites from village history. Most were related to Mr. Remington, the Canton native born in 1861 who went on to earn national acclaim for his illustrations of the American West.

“Even though it’s been sort of drizzly and rainy weather, we’ve had a pretty good crowd,” said Jay V. Krepes, a senior at Canton High School who donned a top hat for his role as tour guide. “People seem really interested in the tours.”

The going was a bit rough for the wagons during some stretches because of the heavy construction under way on Canton Streets.

“We tell people the reason they’ve been destroying the roads is to provide authenticity for the Remington Festival,” Mr. Krepes joked.

Although the festival’s art sale is usually held in Village Green Park, rain drove the vendors inside the First Presbyterian Church and the Unitarian Universalist Church.

The crowds came despite the rain, said wood carver John P. Taylor, Morristown, who was chosen as the festival’s featured artist.

“Early this morning, when we first opened, it was wall to wall. People could hardly get through,” he said.

Mr. Taylor held a demonstration of fan carving Saturday morning, a process by which a single, small piece of wood can be transformed into an intricate, elaborate statue of a bird in flight.

“I’m not really into it to sell,” Mr. Taylor said. “I just like carving and I give a lot of it away.”

Although some vendors said the rain had reduced traffic, others saw it as a positive.

“I’ve found that bad weather seems to be better for indoor craft shows,” said Mary G. Holland, Colton, who was selling scarfs and other accessories at her table.

For the past several years the festival has been held in conjunction with parents’ weekend at St. Lawrence University and SUNY Canton, to draw students and their parents downtown for the event.

Visitors to the Silas Wright house on Main Street could take in an exhibit on Frederic Remington, or children could play games from the 1800s.

Tradtional Arts in Upstate New York put together a letterboxing trail around the village, a treasure hunt challenging participants to solve clues to find hidden locations.

Students in grades seven through 12 submitted their work to be judged in a student art competition.

“We get people of all ages involved,” festival director Brooke E. James said. “It gives the chance to learn and appreciate the art, history and talent of the north country.”


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