Along with the historic campground setting, event coordinator Mary Lou Wilson believes the fair’s relaxed atmosphere is part of its appeal. Expected to draw about 3,000 people, the 34th annual Pine Log Arts and Crafts Fair primarily attracts people from Bartow and its surrounding counties. This year, the event will feature about 55 vendors and a wide array of items for sale, ranging from pottery to woodworking.
“We have one vendor that comes from the Canton area and this is the only show he does. He just likes to come over there and hang out and enjoys his time there,” Wilson said. “So I think it’s a relaxing time for both people that are attending the show and our vendors also. And we do give $1,600 worth of prize money to our vendors, which I think is good compared to a lot of shows around, which in turn helps us get some good vendors.
“[With] the early date, it’s one of the first shows of the season, so the vendors do have a good variety for people to pick from. Later on sometimes that’s not the case so much. But they have lots of good merchandise [now] seeing as it’s the beginning of the season.”
Sponsored by the Pine Log United Methodist men, the Pine Log Arts and Crafts Fair will be held Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Along with arts and crafts vendors, the offering will feature free guided tours of the site, entertainment and barbecue.
To be conducted Saturday at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. and Sunday at 1 and 3 p.m., the guided tours will give participants valuable insight about Pine Log UMC, such as the church at 3497 Pine Log Road in Rydal is widely known for events surrounding a South Carolina earthquake in 1886.
“I tell [some] stories about the church, church parishioners, camp meetings,” said Wilson’s son, Wade, who serves as the Pine Log UMC historian. “[One story dates back to Aug.] 31, 1886, when they were having camp meeting services at Pine Log and Rev. Sullivan had been preaching the week there and felt like he didn’t have a positive response to his message. [During] the service he prayed the prayer, ‘Lord, if it takes it to enter the hearts of these people, shake the grounds on which this building stands.’ Immediately after he prayed the prayer, the ground shook and that was the direct result of the violent earthquake that shook Charleston, S.C., that day. The effect was felt at Pine Log [and] obviously people were moved.
“The actual campground had burned in the 1860s due to what we understand [was] a forest fire and it wasn’t rebuilt due to economic devastation, losing the Civil War and a lot of families had lost loved ones that didn’t come home. So [the] morale was down and everything, but after this prayer, it seemed like our congregation was moved and within two-years time the actual tabernacle was rebuilt. So our tabernacle where we actually have the festival, or part of it, dates back to 1888.
“[During the tours] a lot of people always ask about the cemetery and how old it is, so we give some dates on that. And we usually tell one of the stories about ‘Leaning on the Everlasting Arms’ with A.J. Showalter. We are evidently one of the first churches that the song, ‘Leaning on the Everlasting Arms’ was ever sung in. ... [Showalter] was going across north Georgia introducing his music to rural churches and Pine Log was one of them.”
While children 12 and younger will be admitted at no cost to the fair, adults will be charged $3. For more information about the event, call 770-608-1285 or visit www.pinelogumc.com.