Canterbury Park is hosting the 2021 Autumn Festival Nov. 11-14.
Officially titled “2021 Autumn Festival, An Arts and Crafts Affair,” the event showcases arts and crafts handiworks created by artists from all over the country.
The Autumn Festival is one of many arts and crafts tour shows run by Huffman Productions. The company produces arts and crafts festivals all over the country throughout fall time.
Jennifer Foland, event manager for Huffman Productions, said the festival brings in over 500 exhibitors with different artistic specialties from around 40 different states. She adds that this variety is purposeful so guests can interact with different exhibitors they might not see in town otherwise.
“Our goal is always to provide a high-quality show with nice arts and crafts from people that you don’t always see in the area,” Foland said.
Another way the company ensures a diverse display is by balancing out “media categories.”
Because of this care for variety, the Autumn Festival regularly showcases an array of art forms. Categories include paintings, photography, pottery, seasonal decorations, furniture, clothing, jewelry and body care items.
This year marks the 38th year of Autumn Festivals for Huffman Productions. Every fall, the festival visits Chicago, Omaha, Sioux Falls and Shakopee.
This is also the 35th year of the festival specifically visiting Canterbury Park. Foland said on average, Canterbury Park sees around 32,000 guests throughout the festival weekend.
“We return every year because we draw a really good crowd there, and our exhibitors like returning there,” Foland said. “It’s a facility that we have a really good relationship with.”
Kerry Larson, senior manager of event services for Canterbury Park, also recognizes the significance of the festival taking place in Shakopee every year.
“Hosting high-quality events like the Autumn Festival is extremely important to our business … [and] the impact on the community at large should not be undervalued either,” Larson said. “Many of event guests as well as the hundreds of vendors spend the weekend in Shakopee, filling hotels and restaurants.”
The Autumn Festival was not held last year due to the pandemic. But Foland said both customers and exhibitors have been excited about the festival coming back this year and “getting back to normal” again.
Beyond displaying arts and crafts, the festival will be announcing hourly $30 gift certificate winners and providing food and drink options.
With the festival weekend approaching, Foland said she is excited to continue the long-standing tradition of Autumn Festivals at Canterbury Park.
“We’re just really excited to be able to be back and do what we’ve done for so long,” Foland said. “We have a great show planned, and we’re looking forward to seeing everyone.”