SEBRING — The Sebring Arts and Crafts Festival returned for its 54th annual celebration. Thousands flocked to historic downtown Sebring to enjoy this much anticipated event on Saturday, Nov. 6.

People shopped for unique holiday gifts created by local and regional artists and crafters. Food, entertainment and art, along with a kids area, offered visitors a lot of options for fun.

The festival featured an interactive Children’s Street, an Emerging Artist Scholarship Program with many talented visual and performing artists along with culinary offerings from local restaurants and mobile food vendors.

“Don’t miss our, ‘Art from the Vault’. This is very special artwork that MoTA (Museum of The Arts) has stored that is for sale today,” said Jennifer Coates, HAL manager.

“We’re pleased to be doing something different this year by offering art for sale (art from the MoTA vault) that has been donated over the years by members and students and have priced them to sell,” said Larry Felder, vice chairman, HAL.

The City of Sebring Police Department had a tent manned by Officers Dasilva and Brand. They were offering coloring books and crayons to children on Kid’s Street.

Toby’s Clowns, Krikitt, Silly Dilly, Snuffy and BooBoo, were in their tent making balloon animals and doing face painting. Alivia Cherniausky had a red balloon dog, made for her by Snuffy.

Children could make colorful hats at a table overseen by artist Loretta DeWitt with the Highlands Art League. Her volunteer helpers from Sebring High School included Haley Waltman, Emily Kelly, Harley Wade and Kaylyn Gillian.

The Highlands Woodcarvers had several tables where talented members were creating walking sticks, ornaments and figures. One man was demonstrating soap carvings.

Bruce Thompson with Shield Medical Group (Dr. Kundlas) was busy handing out information and free t-shirts.

Gloria Rojas had her table filled with lovely handmade Christmas trees. “They are all made from scratch. My mother uses rope, beads, lace, fabric and ribbon to make them beautiful!”

One street featured young “Emerging Artists.” Emma Fordham and Anna Filgueras shared one of the tables showing off their artistic talents. Emma likes to work in oils or wash; Anna prefers working in ink or watercolors.

Artist Theresa Roman was demonstrating her artistic talents as she worked on her painting titled “Sneakers.”

Thunder the Bald Eagle, was posing in Circle Park for visitors. Karen, David and Marlene, from Wrede’s Wildlife Center, were there with Thunder. “Thunder is actually a girl,” said Marlene. “At first we weren’t sure. She is about 24 years old.”

There was a lot to see and do at the festival. The weather was nice and stayed cool most of the day. Other vendors included those with unique jewelry, holiday décor items, plants, furniture and handbags.

Artisans showcased acrylics, watercolors, ceramics, pottery, photography, wood works and mixed-media designs.

Barbeque, tacos, burritos, hot sandwiches, munchies, kettle corn and cold beverages were just some of the offerings from local food trucks.

The main stage entertainment, in Circle Park, was local favorite band, ‘Side Project duo.’

“We are pleased that we filled the circle with artists and crafters,” said Felder.

“With the last festival having to be cancelled due to COVID, we think we are giving people a quality festival that they can really enjoy and add to the memories that so many locals remember from the past – 54 years for some!”

Recommended for you