Celebrating 55 Years as One of
America's Premier Arts & Crafts Festivals
August 3rd - 6th, 2017
Features Amish Acres Arts and Crafts Festival as one of America's Hometown Celebrations. It is cited as an example of how small towns can use festivals and events to draw visitors to them in the spirit of celebration with the economic benefits that are a major by-product
50th Anniversary Recognition
In recognition of the 50th anniversary festival in 2012, Senator Ryan Mishler presented a Senate Resolution from the Indiana General Assembly, commendations from the Indiana House of Representatives, and a personal letter from Governor Mitch Daniels and founder Richard Pletcher was named a Distinguished Hoosier by Governor Daniels. Additional recognition to the half-century achievement included a key to the City of Nappanee and recognition from the Nappanee Public Library and the Elkhart County Convention and Visitors' Bureau.
Golden Jubilee 50th Anniversary Album
A photo album taken from the 50 years of Amish Acres Arts and Crafts Festival. These photos represent the best of the marketplace, entertainment, artists, visitors, and staff. In many ways the festival has remained remarkably the same as each year brings a renewed creative vigor that can be felt in the air on each opening day.
Past Winners and Hall of Fames Inductees
Mary Stipanovich to be inducted into Amish Acres Arts & Crafts Festival Hall of Fame
Mary Stipanovich, Chesterton, is being posthumously inducted into the Amish Acres Arts and Crafts Festival Hall of Fame during the 2017 Festival. She becomes the 45th inductee since the hall was created in 1996. Mary exhibited in the first festival over 50 years ago in downtown Nappanee and moved with the festival to Amish Acres in 1971.
Mary became a close friend and patron to fellow exhibitor Emma Shrock, an Old Order Mennonite woman who was born handicapped and spent her life in a wheel chair. With Mary's friendship, support and encouragement Emma became a prolific folk artist, producing her first painting at age 40 and painting a new work every day to make a living. Today she is known as the "Grandma Moses" of Elkhart County and her works are today avidly collected and hang in permanent museum galleries.
She was a member of the Duneland Historical Society, Midwest Museum of American Art, the Association of Artist and Craftsmen of Porter County, Royal Neighbors of America, and National Women’s History Museum Charter Member in Alexandria, VA. She was also a board member of the Chesterton Art Center and the Gary Artist’s League. Mary visited Amish Acres each year with her daughters DeBorah and Michele. DeBorah inherited Mary's artistic talent and produces acrylic paintings and decorative items that are shown in Amish Acres shops and throughout the area.
Mary and her daughters continued to visit the festival and Amish Acres annually including late last summer. She remains, after over five decades, one of the historic farm and festival’s biggest boosters.