The Aiken Chamber of Commerce is forging ahead with the 44th annual Aiken's Makin' craft show this fall.
The two-day arts and craft show is set for Sept. 11 and 12 on Park Avenue and will adhere to social distancing guidelines, the bulk of which will be revealed in August as more guidelines from health officials come out, Aiken Chamber of Commerce President and CEO J. David Jameson said recently.
With COVID-19 in mind, the chamber is trying to keep the event as local as possible.
"We're not going to try to attract outside visitors this year," Jameson said. "It's prudent that we try to contain this within Aiken."
The craft show is a much-needed distraction after the last several months, Jameson said, and the chamber has spent "hours and hours" researching guidelines to try to make it happen safely for residents.
"It's a celebration of Aiken ... and if we can possibly cause it to happen, we want to," Jameson said.
This year's event will feature the handiwork of 172 fine artisans and 20 food vendors from across the Southeast.
Seven new vendors will be added to the mix this year, including painter Nong Von Buedingen, a Thailand native who now calls Aiken home.
Von Buedingen’s work is typically acrylic on canvas, but she has recently started painting on reclaimed wood from the fences of area horse pastures and other unusual sources.
She is teaching her children to paint and focuses on Aiken and her family for inspiration.
“My family and I have attended Aiken's Makin’ every year since I moved here," she told the chamber. "Seeing all the beautiful crafts has always left me wanting to be a part of it, and this year I will be.”
There is no charge to attend the event.
Hours are Friday, Sept. 11, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 12, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information, visit aikensmakin.net.