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Mayfair 2024 at Cedar Crest College renews emphasis on crafts and kids

Mayfair Festival of the Arts, which returns for its sixth year to Cedar Crest College, Allentown, over Memorial Day Weekend, will have a new, more compact look and offer more children’s attractions this year.

The free family festival which offers food, crafts and music on two stages will run 4 to 10 p.m. May 24 and noon to 10 p.m. May 25 and 26 on Cedar Crest’s tree-lined campus. There is plenty of free parking onsite.

“One of the biggest changes people will notice is we’ve consolidated all of the festival to the east end of the campus,” says Katy Kresge, Associate Vice President Campus Operations, Cedar Crest College. “It will be easier to navigate and all the artists and crafts will be closer to the main stage. Everything will be in one area.”

In previous years, the Artist Market was on the west end of the campus, inside Lees Hall and outdoors on the lawn. This year, the nearly 60 artists will be inside Tompkins College Center in the dining hall and outside lining the quad.

The bandstand stage also will move to the quad and will be renamed the Artist Market Performance Patio. The patio will feature solo acts and duos.

This year’s festival will focus more on activities for children, says Kresge.

New this year, Crayola Factory and Baum School of Art will each have tents offering crafts and coloring for children. LV Rocks will be back with a rock-climbing wall and bungee jumping for those looking for a physical challenge, as well as games and inflatables.

In 2018, Cedar Crest College took over Mayfair as a way to support the community and introduce people to the college’s campus, which is a nationally-registered arboretum with more than 150 kinds of trees. The festival took a year off in 2020 because of the pandemic, but returned in 2021.

2024 marks the festival’s sixth year at the college, and Kresge says the college is committed to continuing the long-standing event.

“This is a free festival with free parking put on by Cedar Crest for the community,” she says. “We are really proud to do this. It’s a win-win for us because we bring more people to our campus.”

Most of the bands are returning from previous years, but new this year is Bethlehem rock band The Weekenders, who will perform at 5:30 p.m. May 25 on the Main Stage.

Kresge, says the “always-popular” band The Large Flowerheads will play the Main Stage noon May 25. Also returning to the Main Stage from last year are The Rogue Diplomats, 4 p.m. May 24; Go Go Gadjet, 7 p.m. May 24; The Wonton Soups, 3 p.m. May 25; UUU, 8 p.m. May 25; Philadelphia Funk Authority, noon May 26; Billy Bauer Band, 3 p.m. May 26 and Supersonic Godfathers, 5:30 p.m. May 26.

Returning after an absence of a few years is the 10-piece dance orchestra from Central Pennsylvania Central City Orchestra at 8 p.m. May 26 on the Main Stage to close out the festival.

Performers on the Artist Market Performance Patio include new acts Kristen Morgenstern and Melody Cruz, as well as returning performers DMC Duo, Ben Tyler, Srin Kelly, Kendal Conrad and Stacy Gabel.

“We’re excited that we have a good mix of music,” says Kresge.

This year’s artists in the Artist Market offer a variety of handmade items, including jewelry, home décor, fine art, photography fabric art, wood carving and candles.

Isasuma is a boutique that sells bags and accessories handmade by indigenous tribes from Latin America, including work from the Wayuu, Kuna, Emberá, and Colombia.

Artist Kelley Bowers creates handcrafted angel wing gifts and inspirational works of art at Angels of Heart.

House of Cork was created by twin sisters who were inspired to create 100 percent vegan, sustainable purses out of cork after a visit to Portugal.

Heritage Fossils, which sells sterling silver jewelry, minerals and fossils, was inspired by a child’s interest in dinosaur teeth and has become a third-generation business.

The Wicked Botanist is a plant shop featuring unusual plants and organic and holistic handmade items.

At Second Chance Candles, they mix their love of candles and their passion for environmental change to create candles and other items from unwanted jars and cuts of wood.

Other highlights include knitted toys, sweaters, succulent pots and keychains by Hello Fluff; freeze-dried candy and vinegars at Rainbow Concoctions; spoons, cutting boards and spatulas made from Pennsylvania black cherry wood by Chester P. Basil; nature photography by Kim Niswender; artisan soap and body-care products by Noraa Body Love; gourmet wine slushy mixes by Nectar of the Vine; scented candles by LilyBean Cottage Scents, and jewelry made from gemstones, crystals, meteorites, fossils & minerals by Pam Smith Jewelry Design.

There will be origami demonstrations and spinning by Second Saturday Spinners, a local fiber arts group.

There will be plenty to eat with 15 local food stands returning, including Heaven On A Bun, Take a Taco, Puerto Rican Culture Association, Greek Street, JR’s London Broil, Paranormal Pop Ups and E-Z Concessions.

New this year will be food truck The Flying V, selling Canada’s classic dish poutine.

Ice cream, frozen banana whip and fruit smoothies are some of the sweet treats that will be available from Bananarama, The Udder Bar and new vendor Smoothie King.

There will be a selection of wine and slushies from Franklin Hill Vineyards for purchase by those over 21. Banko Beverages will return with beer, offering Miller Light, Yeungling Lager, Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy and two varieties from Allentown brewery Brü Daddy’s Brewing.

Mayfair schedule: www.cedarcrest.edu/mayfair

PRESS PHOTO BY ED COURRIER Patrons enjoy Mayfair 2023 at Cedar Crest College, Allentown, where the popular arts festival will be held for its sixth year, May 24-26.
Katy Kresge