Westmoreland Arts & Heritage Festival attracts vendors from across the country | TribLIVE.com
Westmoreland

Westmoreland Arts & Heritage Festival attracts vendors from across the country

Stephen Huba
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Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Festival-goers walk the vendor booths and enjoy the pedal boats on the water on Thursday, July 4, 2019, at Twin Lakes Park for the annual Arts and Heritage Festival.
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Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Families watch from a distance as they hold their ears during a cannon fire demonstration at the living history encampments on Thursday, July 4, 2019, at Twin Lakes Park for the annual Arts and Heritage Festival.
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Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Brandon Yandrick of Monroeville bags kettle corn for customers at Hanson’s Original Kettle Korn booth on Thursday, July 4, 2019, at Twin Lakes Park for the annual Arts and Heritage Festival.
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Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Callie Brooks, 7, sips on a frozen drink while watching the big band performance at the island stage with with her mom, Allison Brooks of Mt. Pleasant, on Thursday, July 4, 2019, at Twin Lakes Park for the annual Arts and Heritage Festival.
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Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Living history re-enactors demonstrate firing a cannon on Thursday, July 4, 2019, at Twin Lakes Park for the annual Arts and Heritage Festival.

At the Westmoreland Arts & Heritage Festival last year, David Sinquefield sold 300 old-fashioned sling chairs in four days.

“That’s why we keep coming back,” he said Thursday, the opening day of the 2019 festival.

Despite oppressive humidity and the threat of storms, Sinquefield, 64, and other vendors said they’re always happy to be back at Twin Lakes Park in Hempfield for the popular festival.

Nearly half of the 200 craft vendors who fill the festival’s popular Artist Market come from outside Pennsylvania, organizers said.

On Thursday, vendors sold everything from custom guitars to bonsai plants to hair jewelry to original art as people streamed by.

Sinquefield, a former engineer from Murrayville, Ga., has been coming to Twin Lakes Park for 19 years to sell his handmade maple chairs.

The chairs, which sell for $39.95 each, look like the kind found on the deck of a cruise ship but with one distinction.

“These rock,” he said, demonstrating the rocking action.

Kyle Wilson, proprietor of Left Behind Photography in Selma, N.C., is back for his second time at the festival.

“I just got such great response to my art (in 2018). People were connecting with it, and I had some really good sales and also did some special orders,” Wilson said. “I thought I definitely needed to come back, so I asked for the same spot again. I applied the first day that I could. I just thought that, this year, I could do even better.”

Wilson, 50, specializes in photographs of things that have been “left behind, lost, abandoned and forgotten,” things such as barns, vacant houses, farms and old tractors.

Emre Tekeli, proprietor of Tekeli Designs Inc. of Tampa, Fla., said this is her fourth year at the festival.

“I love to be here,” she said. “I like the park. I love the people. It’s easy to deal with the people (as they walk by). It’s a nice area.”

Tekeli, a Turkish woman who has lived in America for 20 years, said she learned of the festival from a sculptor friend. She said sales of her silver-plated jewelry at the festival are “not bad, not great.”

Eugen Zah, 49, of Columbia, S.C., is selling his Bohemian Czech crystal manicure files at the festival for the fourth year in a row.

“What brings us back is the sheer beauty (and) the wonderful people,” he said. “It’s just pleasant overall to be here, especially in the summer. There’s no better place to be.”

Zah, a Romanian man who became a U.S. citizen in 1996, custom designs the files after getting them from the Czech Republic.

Mike Elkins, owner of JD Gourmet of Hightstown, N.J., started coming to the festival in 2014. He’s hoping for brisk sales of his fruit-flavored balsamic vinegar and olive oil blends.

“It’s a beautiful location, a great setting. The people are wonderful,” he said.

The festival, now in its 45th year, continues from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Admission is free, but area lots charge $10 for parking. Parking shuttles from Saint Vincent College, Pitt-Greensburg, Nicely Elementary School and Greengate Centre are $2 round-trip. Children under 10 are free.

Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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