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Roycroft Summer Festival expands

This weekend's Roycroft Summer Festival in East Aurora marks its 35th year in existence, but it promises to showcase a new twist on old traditions in an expanded form.

The festival -- traditionally held on the Roycroft Campus each year -- will be based instead at Parkdale Elementary School on Girard Avenue this year, because of upcoming construction projects planned for the campus.

The event, sponsored by the Roycrofters-at-Large-Association, will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, featuring the work of more than 75 artisans. About half of those will be juried Roycroft Renaissance artisans.

The festival draws about 10,000 people over the course of its two-day run, organizers say.

But the historic Roycroft Campus will not be forgotten in all the hoopla. Organizers are hosting what they are calling a "Campus Festival" -- an event they have gone out of their way to make more family-friendly.

"It's all about East Aurora," said Christine A. Peters, Roycroft Campus Corp. executive director. "We're calling it East Aurora to East Aurora. Plus, we have a brand new Main Street."

The campus activities will showcase a potpourri of events, including woodcarving demonstrations, hand-illumination demonstrations, 40 antique dealers, artisan exhibits and demonstrations of screen printing, letter press, jewelry design and glass blowing. Children can learn how to make jump-ropes or hear gardening tips and receive a sunflower planting for their garden.

On the campus grounds both days will be Hawkcreek Wildlife Center, East Aurora Cooperative Markets and Knox Farm Fiber. On Saturday only, Mary Hubbard's Alpacas will be there.

The Alex Fournier House on Walnut Street will be open to visitors from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday. The Elbert Hubbard-Roycroft Museum on Oakwood Avenue and the Millard Fillmore House on Shearer Avenue will each be open from 1 to 4 p.m. both days.

Rounding out the festivities will be the East Aurora Art Society's 57th outdoor art exhibition and sale on the lawn of Main Street School.

e-mail: krobinson@buffneww.com

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