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North Hills Monthly

Festival of the Arts, Booktoberfest Coming to Saxonburg in September

Aug 29, 2019 09:48AM ● By Hilary Daninhirsch

If you’ve been looking for an excuse to visit Saxonburg, the charming little community in Butler County founded by German immigrants in 1832, you’ll have two unique opportunities this fall.

First on the schedule is the 34th annual Saxonburg Festival of the Arts. Held each year the weekend after Labor Day, the arts festival will attract about 135 crafters, 15 food vendors, and between 20,000 and 30,000 visitors, said Vendor Coordinator Hannah Shannon.

The festival will take place at Roebling Park, inside Cooper Hall, and on Main Street on Saturday, Sept. 7 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Sunday, Sept. 8 from noon to 5 p.m.

“There is live entertainment, antique tractors, an art show, a photography show, a quilt show, and something called Ikebana—a Japanese floral arrangement demonstration,” said Shannon.

Local bands will perform at the Roebling Park Gazebo throughout the weekend.

Shannon said that many of the featured artists will be local, though some are coming from out-of-state. Examples of handmade products available for purchase will include wooden items, handmade soaps, baked goods, homemade dog bones, knit/crochet items, scarves, and jewelry.

Shannon said that the funds raised will be put back into operating costs for Roebling Park, Cooper Hall and Saxonburg Museum.

The South Butler Community Library will also have a huge tent sale at the Saxonburg Festival of the Arts, which is the library’s largest book sale of the year. “We’ll also be hosting children’s activities in the library. This year, we’ll have a Lego building challenge, book crafts for adults and teens, a virtual realty game, and some outdoor games,” said Library Director Michelle Lesniak.

The library, which serves Saxonburg and five other outlying municipalities, will also host Booktoberfest on September 27. The second annual event is the library’s primary fundraiser. 

Lesniak explained that the library must rely on extraneous fundraising, as about half of their budget comes from state, county or local municipalities. “About $20,000 comes from our Friends of the Library group, but we have to raise another $30,000 on our own,” she said.

In the past, the library has held other, smaller fundraisers, but last year was the first year that they put on a large gala. It was so successful and so many people enjoyed it that they’re doing it again this year.

“Everyone seemed to like it last year; people in the community are always very supportive,” she said.

Lesniak said that there will be live music, a huge lineup of gift baskets to raffle, and there will be German beer and a buffet dinner. Local restaurants and a local craft brewery will provide food.

“All funds raised go to our annual budget to help fund existing services of the library,” said Lesniak.

Tickets for Booktoberfest can be purchased on Eventbrite at www.eventbrite.com.