Attendees socialize at a past From the Land festival. The folk-art event will take place this year, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 15 and 16.
Folk-art event will take place Oct. 15 & 16 rain or shine
by Hannah Tetzlaff
Even if it means donning a Native American jingle dress or wearing all orange, Jan Londowski will do whatever is necessary to host the 15th-annual From the Land festival.
The folk-art event features speakers, live music, a tractor show and around 100 vendors selling and demonstrating their traditional crafts
It will take place Saturday, Oct. 15 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 16 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Toll/Londowski farm, W1601 County Rd J in Green Lake.
Though the event is set in the country, obstacles such as rain don’t pose a problem for Londowski.
“One year, we had rain, so I put on my Indian jingle dress and my Indian moccasins and went out and did a rain dance to chase the rain away,” she said. “Some of the artists that were there that year have memories of that craziness going on. We try and make it fun no matter what’s going on.”
When Londowski isn’t wearing Native American gear, she may be found strolling around the fair head-to-toe in orange, so people can spot her when there’s trouble.
Even if she isn’t able to dispel bad weather, people still come in droves to the festival.
“One thing that I have to say is that my attendees come out whether is raining or whatever,” Londowski said. “I know one year it was raining and [the owner of] Renaud’s Bakery didn’t make much [food] because it was raining and he was sold out by 11 a.m. He said, ‘I’m never making that mistake again.’”
She added people come wearing umbrellas and raincoats to support the show.
Rain or shine, From the Land will present new additions to its craft faire.
“New, this year, I have hand-blown marbles and [the artist] may be demonstrating,” Londowski said, adding the festival also will have native American beadwork and a person making maple syrup.
There also will be a blacksmith pounding away on hot iron.
Some of the weekend’s other highlights include program speakers Becky Weiss and Kyle Denton.
Weiss is a wildlife rehabilitator, while Denton is a natural herbalist who is hosting a foraging walk.
Among the other festivities are live music from singer/songwriter Jim Anger, an antique tractor show and a Native American healing lodge.
Though the show now boasts 100 vendors and numerous activities and demonstrations, it began as a small affair.
“I think the first year, I had 25 exhibitors … so it’s gone from 25 to 100 in 15 years,” Londowski said. “When you start out, you’re unsure.
“The first year when you did your advertising, you didn’t know if anybody would come to it or not. You had artists signed up to sell an exhibit, but you didn’t know if you would draw a crowd or not … Every year there are more and more people coming.”
She noted the From the Land Facebook page had more than 6,000 hits as of a few weeks ago.
Londowski created the event when she was inspired by a close friend’s prompting.
“Fifteen years ago, some friends and I were walking through the woods and [one of them] was an artist and she suggested, ‘why don’t you have an art show on the family farm?’ so we set out to do that,” Londowski said.
Her original goal was to showcase local artists and, now due to the size of the show, has branched out beyond Green Lake County.
For Londowski, aspects that make this art festival unique are the setting and, most importanty, the artists.
“It’s out in the country, has a relaxed atmosphere, and I’ve got a good group of artists,” she said. “I go around to art shows and hand-select my artists for their artwork and for their personalities. Everybody gets along. One year I had electrical outages and they’re in the pole shed with penlights in their mouths, setting up their booths. They make the best of whatever and help each other out.”
With 15 years already under her belt and a large group of supportive artists, friends and family by her side, Londowski plans to make this year’s festival a hit and continue to do so in the future.
For more information, check out the Facebook page or its website, www.fromthelandfestival.com