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The final touches Vendors get ready as Yellow Daisy Festival kicks off today

STONE MOUNTAIN - Mother Nature is no match for the Yellow Daisy Festival. In its 39-year reign, the festival has been held during a wide range of weather conditions, from scorching Georgia heat to hurricanes.

Despite the often rough conditions, the festival has consistently been voted as the best arts-and-crafts show in the country by Sunshine Artist Magazine.

"It's the artists themselves voting on this, and they provide their feedback. These are artists who travel all over the country, and they have chosen us as the best," said Christine Parker, spokeswoman for the park. "It's an honor. We're thrilled about this recognition."

About 200,000 shoppers are expected to attend the four-day event, held today through Sunday at Stone Mountain Park. A variety of handmade goodies will be displayed and sold at the festival, including everything from pottery and photography to jewelry and baskets.

More than a thousand artists from across the country apply to be a part of the festival each year. From this bunch, the festival committee narrows the list down to only 500.

"We select the best of the best," Parker said. "Some years we have repeats who have been with us for years, and some years we have new faces."

Vikki Mancil Weigel was selected as the featured artist for this year's event. A self-taught artist, Weigel's crafts focus on the sisterhood of women and the innocence of children.

"Vikki's work truly captures the spirit of the Yellow Daisy Festival," said Jeanine Battle, special events manager for the park. "We fell in love with her whimsical, childlike characters and felt that it would speak to the child within us all."

The festival isn't limited to craft enthusiasts. Horticulture hounds can get their fix at the Yellow Daisy Flower Shower flower show. Little tykes will find age-appropriate activities in the children's corner, including hands-on crafts, live entertainment, face painting and rock wall climbing. For husbands, the Men's Den will offer reclining chairs, couches and TVs.

"We've done it a few years," Parker said. "It's a place for them to put their feet up, and we show football games all day long. I always see the husbands sitting there, watching the wives' bags while they shop. It's a win-win."