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N.C. Spot Festival taking over Hampstead

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HAMPSTEAD -- The annual North Carolina Spot Festival is taking over Hampstead. The festival is best known for its fish, but its arts and crafts are becoming more popular. It was the fish that compelled Martha Williams to stop by the North Carolina Spot Festival but it wasn't because she was hungry. Williams said, "I saw this chainsaw sculpture and it caught my attention so I turned around and came back." Over the past two years, the arts and crafts have become some of the festival's more prominent attractions. Bob Fisher is the festival's chairman of arts and crafts. He says last year's festival raised the standards for participating artists. Fisher said, "We actually juried applications to make sure it's homemade by the artist and it's not something they come back and try to sell off a shelf." Fisher says the new standards have increased overall interest in the festival--particularly from the art community. So many artists wanted to participate this year, fisher had a waiting list. At this year's spot festival hand-made crafts like these behind me will take up one third of the thirty acre fairgrounds. Fisher said, "The spot fish is the main attraction and it will continue to be that. But I think that the community now knows about the arts and crafts, which has become a much, much bigger participant and playing a bigger role." Skip Stang is one of the artists who made the cut. He says he's excited for this year's festival and came prepared. Stang said, "I finally did a fish. I normally do birds that eat fish, but this time I did a spot." The spot festival will be going on all weekend off Highway 17 in Hampstead. For more info visit http://www.wwaytv3.com/2007_nc_spot_festival

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