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Yellow Daisy Festival kicks off Sept. 9

Kathy Barnes worked earlier this week sewing ribbons to the edges of a baby blanket she calls a tag-along, one of the signature items she will be selling during this year’s Yellow Daisy Festival.

The 12-by-12 blankets are satin on one side and flannel on the other with ribbons texturing the sides for babies to grasp.

IF YOU GO

• What: 42nd annual Yellow Daisy Festival

• When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 9, 10 and 12 and 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday

• Where: Stone Mountain Park, U.S. Highway 78 East, Exit 8, in Stone Mountain

• Cost: Free to attend with a $10 parking pass

• For more information: Call 770-498-5690 or visit www.stonemountainpark.com

“There’s a lot of little steps that go along with (making them),” Barnes said.

The Lilburn resident also makes decorative pillow cases and functional aprons using retro and designer fabrics. This is her second year as a crafter at the annual festival and she is one of 16 Gwinnett artists and crafters who will participate in the four-day event, which will open Sept. 9 at Stone Mountain Park featuring a total of 426 artists and crafters from around the country.

“We’ve got artists coming from Maine, California, just all over the United States coming with handmade works,” said Jeanine Jones, public relations manager for Stone Mountain Park. “There’s a lot of variety. Every year all these crafters have to go through a juried process, so they have to be accepted into this festival.”

Festival-goers will find arts and crafts in 35 different categories, from functional and decorative pottery to jewelry and clothes.

“I’ve been going to the Yellow Daisy Festival for, gosh, 20 years as a shopper, at least 20 years,” Barnes said. “You can always find one-of-a-kind things there. It’s just a wonderful place to go for Christmas gifts, birthdays, anything.”

The annual event draws an estimated 200,000 shoppers over the course of the four-day festival.

“Saturday and Sunday are definitely the most popular days but I will say that Thursday and Friday are definitely the shoppers on a mission,” Jones said. “We have just big groups of mostly females that come together in packs to go shopping. Don’t get in their way because they are on a mission. That’s serious shopping right there.”

Tips for the Yellow Daisy Festival shopper from festival organizers

— Plan a shopping route. With an estimated 200,000 shoppers over the four-day festival, it is easy to miss artist booths. Blackberry Lane is the suggested beginning.

— Send husbands, brothers or fathers to the Men’s Den, where they can relax in recliners while watching fall football games on a big screen TV.

— Prepare for the shopping weekend by checking the weather forecast and then choosing appropriate clothing, preferably clothes that are light and comfortable along with walking shoes.

— Gather a shopping posse. Whether it is a mother, grandmother, daughter or best friend, make sure you experience the Yellow Daisy Festival with your best pals.

— Prepare a bag with essentials including cash, credit card, check book, sunscreen, lip gloss, compact and cell phone. Shoppers are welcome to bring their own shopping bags for purchases.

— Arrive 30 minutes before the festival gates open if you plan to shop early.

— Visit this year’s featured artist, Marian Baker, on A Loop. About 95 percent of her work is on recycled materials and each piece is original art.

— Send kids to the Children’s Corner, where they can participate in crafts, climb rock walls, have their faces painted and walk away with some crazy hair.

— Take a break from shopping and indulge in the fried candy bars, roasted corn and fresh cut fruit offered by many vendors. While on break, enjoy the live bands providing entertainment on the Yellow Daisy Main stage.

— End your weekend by taking inventory of all your purchases and planning next year’s visit to the Yellow Daisy Festival, which will be held Sept. 8-11, 2011.