OAKHURST — On Saturday, September 17th the Mountain Artisan Market had one of its most prosperous days since its inception in the Spring of 2020; setting up in conjunction with the Fresno Flats Historical Society at the Fresno Flats Historical Museum in Oakhurst CA, just off School Road.
Several resident volunteers for the society were present to give tours of the well-preserved historic buildings, some being over 100 years old, and when asked about the carnival and market, Lori Thiessen had the following to say, “It’s great to see the community come together and we’re excited to see that folks are excited about volunteering again. Volunteering is very beneficial for families and we’re reaching out to the community and trying to bring this park back to life now that the community can get out again.”
In addition to the special focus on the museum, a multitude of vendors was on site, purveying an assortment of handcrafted wares ranging from homemade soaps, to various wood carvings, to handmade instruments, freshly tie-dyed shirts, and even a blacksmith working the forge. With over 30 craftspeople on site, there was something for everyone who decided to attend the weekend’s festivities, as the weekend was also the anniversary of the Fresno Flats Historical Society’s carnival and the annual parade.
Unfortunately, the parade had yet to make its return in the post-pandemic world, but the carnival was alive and well with Midway games, farm animals, and the ever omniscient Poppy the Predicting Prospector, who was there this year in the stead of her Uncle, “Pappy.”
The event was considered to be a great success by both Sandy Schaefer – Director of The Mountain Artisan Market, and Paul Adelizi – President of the Sierra Historical Sites Association, which manages the Fresno Flats location, among several others.
Sandy said about the success of the market, “So you can see what this is, it’s a huge family.”, and “We’re evolving into a regular event that the community can plan on. Any vendor that becomes part of the collective that meets the little bit of requirement that make their products or bring things that we’re made locally is welcome to join.”
The “little bit of requirements” are, first being a member of the local mountain community and then, also only selling handmade products that are not resold from another business to keep the local community feeling alive and to help support those local craftspeople and artists who otherwise might not have the opportunity to place their talents and products on display.
Although it will be another year before the Fresno Flats Historical Society Carnival and Parade comes around, community members are welcomed and encouraged to visit the Fresno Flatts Historical Village on the third Saturday of every month, March through December. With new vendors arriving and old vendors returning almost every month, there’s always something new to see at the Mountain Artisan Market.