Rails End Gallery curator Laurie Jones was up at 6 a.m. July 20, and at the gallery by 7:30 a.m., to review the final layout of the park for this weekend’s 60th annual Haliburton Art and Craft Festival in Head Lake Park.

She’ll be doing a walkabout to make sure the grounds are in the best possible shape for the arrival of approximately 100 vendors. She’ll then hand the mapping to her registration folks who will start getting the artisans settled in from about noon in time for the July 21 opening.

The festival runs July 21-23.

The curated fair will feature clay, glass, fine woodworking and furniture, fashion, fibre and accessories, fine jewelry and adornments, sculpture, visual art for home, office and cottage, and others defying description, according to Jones.

“It’s really good,” Jones added of the variety of vendors.

Upon reflecting last year on who comes to the festival, Jones said she changed one category name to ‘art for home, office and cottage’ from ‘fibre. “What the heck is fibre already?” she said with a laugh. The name change resonated. “People like that really small, local kind of thing.”

Whatever the name, she said the key is that work is handcrafted.

“That’s really important. We tell everybody this is a celebration of craft, craftsmanship, innovation. Things are interesting, and you have a connection to these objects because you’re dealing directly with the person who made them. That’s the kind of philosophy underpinning it.”

It is also a marketplace. Vendors want to interact with the public, Jones said, and sell.

The weekend is also packed with entertainment.

On July 21, people can learn about ways to minimize waste and live low-impact with Jigsaw Organizing Solutions in the Rails End tent. Then, from noon to 3 p.m., both July 21 and 22, there will be paper craft with Sandra Clarke. Jones said Adeilah Dahlke is going to help people create an interesting journal page.

Razzamataz is presenting Ruben Esguerra with his Latin-infused musical entertainment July 22 at 1 p.m. along with DH3. Jones and company are planning to dress up and play some unconventional instruments, such as large ice cream containers, and pot lids, in a “garbage percussion procession,” as they walk through the park to literally drum up interest for Esguerra’s one hour show at the bandshell.

Razzamataz is also presenting an Esguerra drum workshop for kids, July 22 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., at Haliburton United Church. It’s $10 per child via razzamataz.ca.

There will also be a tai chi demonstration on Saturday.

On July 23, they will take the energy down a notch with a crystal bowl sound experience at the bandshell. Jones encourages people to bring yoga mats.

“So, I think that’s all going to be great,” Jones said.

As always, the gallery curator said the other wild card is weather. Last year, they had to cut the festival short due to lightning. Jones has a phone app that tracks lighting strikes. While July 21 is looking like rain, July 22-23 are shaping up to be perfect summer days.

See more at railsendgallery.com.