BLOOMSBURG, PA – The 41st annual Covered Bridge & Arts Festival, a popular area event organized each year by the Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau, returns to the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds this week. The event kicks off this Thursday, October 5 and runs through Sunday, October 8. With over 300 arts, crafts, and food vendors, it is one of the largest fall craft shows on the East Coast and has been regularly recognized by Sunshine Artist Magazine as one of the 200 Best Shows in the country.
This year, the festival will have a slight change in hours, with the event shifting ahead one hour each day as compared to prior years. This year’s hours are: Thursday thru Saturday from 9 AM – 5 PM; Sunday from 9 AM – 4 PM. The Covered Bridge & Arts Festival remains FREE parking and FREE admission each day.
Arts & crafts vendors will be set up inside in the Educational, Industrial, Arts & Crafts, and Agriculture buildings as well as the Quonset hut and outside between 3rd and 11th Streets and as far down as C Avenue. Food vendors will be set up throughout the outdoor portion of the event, along with several distilleries, a brewery, and wineries (wineries will be located in the Agriculture building). There will also be a weekend petting zoo and live fine arts demonstrations. The live fine arts demonstrations will take place throughout the four days in front of the historic barn. Artists will take shifts throughout each day to show attendees how they create their crafts. Examples include basket weaving, spinning yarn, broom-making, spurtle-making, functional pottery, wood-turning, illustrations, gourd art, and Lithuanian egg art.
Another new feature this year will be the return of live music to the festival, with three musical acts performing on Saturday, October 7 at the Fairgrounds bandshell. From 10:30 – 11:30 AM, the Dishonest Fiddlers, an emerging folk/bluegrass band from Pennsylvania’s coal region, will perform. From Noon – 1 PM, the Hot Club of Scranton takes the stage. Hot Club of Scranton celebrates the swing music and hot jazz of the 1920’s through the 1940’s. They play the style of music made popular by Django Reinhardt, Charlie Christian, Benny Goodman and other musicians of the swing era. And from 1:30 – 3:00 PM, Mike Mizwinski, better known simply as Mike Miz, will close out the day of performances. Mike Miz has had the privilege to open for acts like Jason Isbell, Jakob Dylan, Lukas Nelson, Blues Traveler, Derek Trucks, America, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and more. He currently resides in Nashville, TN and is well-known for his soulful and energetic live performances.
All visitors to the festival will enter the Fairgrounds through the main gate (Gate 3) of the Fairgrounds off Route 11, or from the 5th Street side (Gate 6). Both will allow access into the main parking lot. Attendees will then enter the festival through Gate 3, which will be the only gate providing access to the event this year. A shuttle tram will provide service in the main parking lot to the entrance gate each day. Directly inside the main gate, there will also be wheelchair and scooter rentals available to those who wish to utilize the service.
The festival is critically important to the Visitors Bureau’s mission – to promote tourism in Columbia & Montour Counties. It is also vital for the continued prosperity of the region. In the most recent return-on-investment study that was done for the festival, it was determined that Direct Spending (what visitors buy/spend during the length of their stay) equaled more than $8.6 million. Overall Spending (including indirect and induced spending) totaled more than $14.2 million.
To learn more about this year’s Covered Bridge & Arts Festival, please click here.