The looming gray clouds Saturday did not keep people away from the fourth-annual Pottery Festival that continues today at Irvine McDowell Park on Lancaster Avenue.

Visitors from all over the state and surrounding states took advantage of the day, which was filled with free entertainment, fun for children and a wide variety of arts and crafts.

Aside from the 13 potters, the event features 57 arts and craft vendors and several food vendors.

Kids Fest has been a part of the Pottery Festival activities since its inception in 2004.

Kids Fest features walk-around characters that include clowns, magicians and Ronald McDonald. Children also can enjoy inflatables, along with games, prizes, a petting zoo and $3 pony rides.

“I think it’s very nice to be able to have the whole town come out and have fun together,” said Lori Tatum, director of the Richmond Tourism Department. “It’s a free family event that’s almost like a fall homecoming.”

The Pottery Festival offers an inexpensive way for a family to spend a weekend together having fun, said Richmond Mayor Connie Lawson.

“They are from everywhere and so many of them have been here every year, and that’s what really amazes me,” Lawson said. “When you get the children out here, you also get the parents and the grandparents and that’s what really makes the day special.”

Children get to be a part of the potting action and create their own piece of clay art.

Bill Whitt of Flatwoods Pottery in College Hill has participated in the Pottery Festival since its inception, and is on a mission.

“I like working with the kids on the (potting) wheel,” he said. “My goal is to get every kid in the county on the wheel. We need more potters, so we need to start them young.”

Different booths feature everything from Henna temporary body art, sand art and corn hole games to handmade bags, clothes and jewelry.

Richmond resident Jenny Tudor operates her own business called “For the Love of the Mother,” and this year marks her fourth pottery festival.

She and her mother create handmade jewelry featuring a variety of gemstones.

“We love to come every year and have a family reunion,” Tudor said. “My son has fun and gets to make some pottery and it’s just a great community event that brings everybody together.”

Activities will begin at 1 p.m. today at Irvine McDowell Park and last until 5 p.m.

The day will feature pottery demonstrations, hands-on pottery, craft and food vendors.

Ronica Shannon can be reached at or 623-1669, Ext. 234.

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