There aren’t too many places where one can find food, world-class original art and an army of volunteers committed to benefiting a community all under the canopy of the vast redwoods. But that is exactly what visitors will find at the 56th annual Kings Mountain Art Fair, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday through Monday at the Kings Mountain Firehouse and Community Center. 

The free event, supported by 400 volunteers, benefits a variety of local communities, including the Kings Mountain Volunteer Fire Brigade and Kings Mountain Elementary School. The event features work of more than 135 artists, and visitors can enjoy food and games during Labor Day weekend while mingling with the artists. They have a diverse background, and their original work covers a wide assortment of jewelry, pottery, photography, clothing, painting and sculpture. 

Kings Mountain resident Erin Baumgartner is the fair’s publicity volunteer, and says many of her peers work year-round to bring the community together for these three days. 

“The setting is unmatched,” Baumgartner said. “For folk that don’t live up in the mountains or amongst the trees like that, to come and have a reason to experience standing amongst these enormous and majestic redwood trees is pretty incredible.”

All proceeds go directly back into the community, and are essential for the fire brigade to purchase vehicles, supplies and equipment, volunteers say. 

“We’re a good 15-minute drive from the closest fire station. So, without them we’d really be isolated,” Baumgartner said. “Everyone cares a lot about making sure our community thrives. The art fair is our main way of doing that.”

The first Kings Mountain Art Fair was in 1963, and it still draws crowds from across the Bay Area each year. Visitors can spend the entire day, as there is a grill serving breakfast and lunch. Breakfast runs from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., and lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 pm. Dessert will be provided by the Kings Mountain Elementary School. The fair strives to maintain a Zero Waste policy, and serves compostable utensils and plates, and fairground maps are printed on recycled paper. 

There are bike racks available at the fairgrounds, and no pets allowed. If driving to the fair, park on Skyline Boulevard and ride the free trolley from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. which stops at designated locations about one mile north and south of the main fair entrance and at Kings Mountain Road and Skyline Boulevard. To learn more about the fair, visit kingsmountainartfair.org.

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