(May 3, 2013) Artists, crafters and food vendors from across the country have traveled to Ocean City to present their products during the 23rd annual Springfest celebration, this weekend at the inlet parking lot.
More than 180 art and craft vendors have filled the two big top tents, to offer wares such as handcrafted jewelry, candles and scents, soaps, pottery, carvings, home and garden items, fine art, photography, paintings, clothing and apparel, pet products, woodwork and metal ware, among other items.
Those who attend the festival annually will see merchandise never before displayed during Springfest, as a number of new vendors are participating this year. Many longtime vendors have returned to sell their products, as well.
New Jersey’s Gail Paolino has been hand-painting clothing since 1982. She has participated in Springfest since 1992.
“It’s such a wonderful mix of customers from all over,” she said. “I have customers who have purchased from me for over 20 years. So many old acquaintances and new faces, too. They all come to Ocean City to see what’s new for spring [and] summer.”
Each “Daffydills” garment is painted one at a time, she said. They feature fish, palm trees, shells, lighthouses, sandpipers, starfish, seahorses and flip-flops, among a handful of other designs.
“This year, customers will see many new fashioned three-quarter sleeve tops, women’s zip and pullover hoodies and as always, the T-shirts to match,” Paolino said.
Noree Woodard, of Nippers Art Studio, based in Battle Creek, Mich., will make her Springfest debut this weekend.
“Many people urged us to participate since we make so many whimsical clay fish and other marine life,” Woodard said. “I have been selling my art since my high school days [more than 30 years ago], and have been participating in art/craft shows for over 25 years. When our children were small and in school, we stayed close to home in Michigan for our shows, but now that we are empty nesters, we travel all over the country selling our art.”
Woodard, with assistance from her husband, Doug, makes whimsical sculptures using terra cotta, ceramic and polymer clay. All pieces are one-of-a-kind.
Their product line includes small sculptures, wall hangings, hand-painted panels, wine stoppers, jewelry and garden art such as bird feeders and planters.
Another first-time Springfest vendor is Kate Klipp, of Frederick Md.
“I am very excited about participating in Springfest this year because my art is specifically related to a beach environment … Ocean City has always been a very special place to me and was my home before moving to Maui,” said Klipp, who was a painter and glass sculptor in Maui, Hawaii, for 20 years, specializing in marine life. “I still return to participate in the Pacific Whale Foundation art and awareness festival every year on Maui. I try to educate people about conserving our beaches and keeping our oceans clean while promoting the ‘Save our Turtles’ and other Green Peace organizations that support our endangered animals of the sea.”
Klipp makes hand sculpted, glass blown marine life, such as dolphins, turtles, manatees, marlin, mermaids and divers mounted on exotic wooden bases. Another item she offers is a Maryland Blue Crab Christmas ornament.
She is also promoting a new product this year that has become her most popular item.
“Every year I participate in Christmas art shows blowing glass, I receive numerous requests for the ‘Traditional Christmas Pickle Ornament.’ I spend half of the year just making pickles to fill the supply and demand,” said Klipp, who has become known as “The Pickle Lady.” “The glass blown ‘pickle ornament’ is not only unique in itself, but I package every pickle in its own little glass pickle jar that includes the tradition and story of the pickle ornament. It is a wonderful fun new product that I am enjoying selling throughout the year in addition to my ocean life.”
Before, during or after shopping, stop by the food tent or gourmet area in the midway section, where more than 40 vendors will be offering a variety of items including fried oysters, crab fluff, jumbo turkey legs, fried alligator, gyros, Oriental foods, blooming onion petals, barbecue, seafood, hot dogs, burgers, fries, chicken, Italian sausage, as well as deep-fried Twinkies and candy bars, funnel cake, Kettle Korn, homemade chocolate and fudge and cinnamon roasted nuts.