The 32nd Valley Kids Festival and Craft Fair was held on Saturday

Crafts connected both visitors and artisans


(Caroline O'Connor/Daily Collegian)

By Yurika Yamazaki, Collegian Correspondent

Approximately 4,000 local residents attended the 32nd Valley Kids Festival and Craft Fair, which was held in the Amherst Commons on Saturday.

The festival, an annual autumnal celebration and a charity event, is run by Amherst Family Center. All local residents were welcome to attend.

The festival sold a variety of hand-made goods from common crafts such as potteries and jewels to unique items like sketch books made from old picture books. Besides these items, participants enjoyed a Kung Fu performance and bouncy houses set around the venue.

“Compared to the previous years, the festival has more artisans this year. This festival is not only for children. It brings together the community with offerings for all ages,” festival coordinator Alison Rollins said.

“Our goal is to offer a fun community event for a good cause,” she said.

Bob Greeney, a physics professor at Holyoke Community College, that he has seen a change in the craftsmanship over recent years. Greeney has sold his hand-made pottery at the festival for 12 years.

“The number of potters is a little fewer this year, while there are more jewelers and other artisans in the festival,” Greeney said.

He added, “My purpose is not just selling the items. Rather, the most important thing to me is that the day should be fun for me and my customers. I like to interact with everyone.”

Greeney said his goal for the festival is to create an atmosphere that encourages. He said he contributes to the festival by bringing a variety of interesting items and to show people his pottery.

Fran Yu Yan, a sophomore at Hampshire College majoring in philosophy, art and psychology, bought a mug that Greeney made.

“I just rode a bus without any purpose and I tried to break my journey because I just saw this festival from the window. But I am so glad to come here. This festival is not so huge, but its atmosphere is relaxing compared to other larger festivals,” Yan said.

“The money from this festival is used toward operating the Amherst Family Center. It goes to the day-to-day cost of running this center,” said Maura Roberts, the program coordinator of off-campus life and the student parent program at the University of Massachusetts.

Yurika Yamazaki can be reached at [email protected].