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HAGERMAN — If you love art and being outdoors, Thousand Springs Festival of the Arts offers a taste of both.

The yearly festival returns Saturday and Sunday at Ritter Island, a unit of Thousand Springs State Park near Hagerman.

“It’s just a really fun community event,” said Melissa Crane, marketing director for the Magic Valley Arts Council. “It’s rather large, but it feels very intimate.”

And it’s a beautiful setting.

This year, more than 90 artists are participating — up from about 80 last year. They hail from across Idaho and several neighboring western states, including Montana, Utah, Nevada and California.

They’ll display and sell their artwork, including ceramics, fiber arts, glass, gourds, jewelry, metal, mixed media, paintings, print making, sculpture and woodworking. And one vendor will sell their line of marinades, sauces and spices.

The event will also include horse-drawn wagon rides, canoe rides, and a wine and beer garden.

Young artists can participate in a “kids’ corner” from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. each day. Children can partake in free activities such as pumpkin painting, and paid activities such as a bounce house and face painting.

Vendors will have food and beverages for sale, too.

One change at the festival this year: Musicians will perform near the admissions area. It will allow for entertainment as people wait in line to buy tickets and to get on a shuttle bus down to Ritter Island.

“We were missing an opportunity as far as greeting our visitors,” Crane said. Now, you can expect to hear music first thing when you arrive and right before heading home.

It’s the 25th year for the Thousand Springs Festival of the Arts. For many years, it was organized by the Southern Idaho Land Trust.

But now, it’s the second year the Magic Valley Arts Council is taking the lead.

Festival organizers through the Southern Idaho Land Trust were advancing in age, Crane said, and approached the arts council about taking on the project. “They wanted to make sure the festival would carry on.”

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