Autumn in the Park at Riverside continues today

VERO BEACH — Arts and crafts aficionados looking for something to do this weekend can participate in the 22nd annual Autumn in the Park Crafts and Artworks Festival which finishes up today at Riverside Park in Vero Beach.

Artists and crafters will have their wares on display and for sale from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today.

Autumn in the Park is one of the major fund-raisers for the Treasure Coast Pilot Club, which in turn uses the funds to benefit the Project Life Saver – a program that helps Alzheimer’s patients and other with forms of dementia or other mental challenges be located in the event that they wander off or go missing. Organizer Barbara Peltier said that the annual event at Riverside Park helps raise about $10,000 for the club. She added that the Treasure Coast Pilot Club is on track to reach that goal again this year.

The event is free to the public, though there are refreshments available for sale. Between 6,000 and 8,000 people attend the Autumn in the Park, “if I had to guesstimate,” Peltier said. “I’ve never really had an accurate count.”

Of course, if the weather stays as nice as it is forecasted to be over the weekend, the crowds could surge even larger.

“We’ve had some close ones,” Peltier said of being nearly rained out. In the 21 years prior to this one, they’ve never been completely rained out – though the hurricanes of 2004 gave them a scare that they would be.

Along with arts and crafts available for perusal, there will be a children’s crafts area where kids can paint and make crafts, get their faces painted and even get tattoos – temporary of course.

“It’s really a nice event to walk around,” Peltier said, adding that people should plan on spending a fair amount of time taking in the event.

The Bloodmobile will be on site, providing opportunities for people to donate blood if they so choose. Indian River County Fire Rescue will also be on hand for a couple hours, allowing children to tour the fire engines and learn more about being a firefighter.

As for the arts and crafts, there will be various offerings including jewelry, clothing, metalwork, glassware, wind chimes, mailboxes turned into banks, wood furniture, outdoor decorations, pocketbooks, and so much more, according to Peltier.

She added that this year’s event will be a little heavier on the crafts side than art, but that there will be a mix of fine arts, too. In all, there are 105 exhibitors who have registered for the show.

This year’s gold level sponsors include: Vero Beach Firefighters Association, Indian River Estates, George E. Warren Corporation, Indian River Credit Union, Orchid Island Juice Company, The Press Journal, WQOL 103.7, BCM Storage, Perfection Paint and Body, The Little Clinic, Florida Spine, and Raymond James & Associates.

For more information about the Treasure Coast Pilot Club or the Autumn in the Park Crafts & Artworks Festival, call Barbara Peltier at (772) 562-9031 ext. 134 or visit www.Autumn-In-The-Park.org.

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