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Festival celebrates with seasonal gifts, crafts

Tony Banzuelo, co-owner of “Pretty Fancy,” shows Dona Arilla and Susan Swaydan “42 ways to make a shawl.” The Harvest Festival is an annual art and craft show at the Pomona Fairplex, which attracts holiday shoppers. This year’s festival was from Dec. 2 through Dec. 4. / photo by Brittney Slater-Shew

Tennille Wright
Staff Writer

The smell of cinnamon potpourri filled the air while furry string puppets danced around in the hands of children on Saturday during the Harvest Festival at the Pomona Fairplex.

“I was curious. It’s the first time I’ve been to a harvest festival,” visitor Jen Kuklinski said.

The three-day festival welcomed hundreds of people who went between booths, exploring handmade and homemade goods.

“We like to come in December because it has all the holiday stuff. It’s our holiday tradition,” visitor Sonja Vierling said.

The Harvest Festival, now in its 39th year, is an original art and craft show that features the work of hundreds of artists.

The artwork includes jewelry, clothing, ceramics, sculptures and specialty foods.

“I have lots of goodies, caramel apples, toffee and homemade soups,” Vierling said.

“I come every year to buy the handmade ornaments and give them as gifts,” Vierling said.

Vendors were pleased with the turn-out of festival regulars, who came to eat and join in the merry spirit.

Rose Moore is a full–time artist and her company, Clear Light Jewelry, specializes in hand painted shell jewelry.

“The art that I do is one of a kind and I think people are interested in one of a kind pieces this year,” she said.

Other vendors made encore appearances this year to duplicate their previous success by providing returning customers with unique and quality products.

“We love to buy from the tie dye guy, Jonathan Kates, he is here every year and has amazing clothing,” Vierling said.

The festival also provided children with an area to reflect on the art atmosphere by bringing out their own creativity.

Using construction paper and string, children decorated Christmas tree ornaments with glitter and candy canes to place on their trees at home.

Another favorite among the children were the party animal puppets.

“My daughter saw another kid with the puppet and she had to have it,” visitor Brian Edwards said.

Many puppets walked out the doors of the festival with their new young owners.

“This is my second year at the Harvest Festival,” Nicolas Graham party animals puppets vendor said.

“There has been a good response. I’ve been doing it for 12 years. The puppets are my design,” Graham said.

Tennille Wright can be reached at

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