By Beth Mlady
Heading into its sixth year as one of the largest, one-day events in the area, the Medina International Fest continues to grow in size and diversity. This year, the nine hour celebration is set for Saturday, August 23, 9am to 6pm on Medina’s Historic Town Square. It will be presented by MedinaHospital and Main StreetMedina. From 6 local restaurants in 2008 to 18 in 2013, and from 40 vendors to 85 in the International Bazaar, the festival has become a family favorite for many across northeast Ohio. The biggest area of the event is the multi-faceted International Bazaar that takes over the center of the Square. The traditional Medina County Farmers Market vendors partner with numerous fine artists, crafters and sellers of imported, hand-made goods that thrill the senses. Part of the fun of the bazaar is the element of surprise as one walks from booth to booth, exploring artisan baked goods, imported Polish Pottery, hand-made jewelry, fine art, fruits, vegetables, textiles and so much more. A good number of booths also feature Fair Trade items, which are hand-made, non-mass produced goods whose creators are paid a fair and living wage.
Main StreetMedina is hoping to increase the diversity of vendor goods offered this year by reaching out to the community for suggestions or leads. “We’d love to have a Mexican pottery importer participate, or an Asian artist who creates paintings with silk threads. A wood carver would be incredible or someone who deals in Jade,” shared executive director, Matt Wiederhold. “We’re open to a lot of ideas for the festival, as long as the goods are not factory and/or mass produced wares. People come here looking for unusual things, original works of art, or accent pieces for their homes that you oftent can’t find at big box stores. We’re so blessed to have the great diversity of consumable products in the Medina Farmers Market that we’re not accepting new farm market vendors and we’re already at our limit for jewelers. But we’re still looking for authentic imported items as well as great art.”
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