By Debbie Arrington
Here's a festival guaranteed to drive folks out of their gourds - or into them.
The ninth annual Gourd Art Festival will be held this weekend, May 14 and 15, at Greg Leiser Farms in Knights Landing. The event is billed as the only one of its kind in Northern California devoted exclusively to gourd art.
Admission and parking are free. The Leiser Farms are located at 21886 Knights Road in Knights Landing.
Open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, the festival will feature live demonstrations, entertainment and a children's crafting area. Entries in the California Gourd Society's northern state competition will be on display. Students from Robbins Elementary School will also show off their gourd art,
Musicians will play gourd instruments. A display will highlight the many uses of gourds around the world.
Such gourd artists as Betzy Kritzon, Marilyn Crayton, Lisa E. Toth, Kathy Riker and Carolee Jones will show the finer points of carving, detailing, painting and finishing gourd artwork.
Individual artists also will offer their wares for sale, birdhouses, purses, gardens, dolls, whimsical characters, jewelry, drums, shakers and chess sets - all made from gourds.
For those who want to create their own art, about two dozen varieties of gourds will be offered for sale including apples, cannon balls, swans, martin house, African kettle and warty gourds.
Bring a picnic lunch or stop by one of the festival's food vendors.
For directions and more information, visit www.gourdfarmer.com.
Call The Bee's Debbie Arrington, (916) 321-1075.