Some people found it difficult to decide which of the festival foods to try first, while others were busy examining the arts and crafts shown in more than 100 booths at Hannibal's 42ndAnnual Folklife Festival on Oct. 20-21.

Some people found it difficult to decide which of the festival foods to try first, while others were busy examining the arts and crafts shown in more than 100 booths at Hannibal's 42ndAnnual Folklife Festival on Oct. 20-21.

“We first ate, then spent all of our money,” said Kate McLaughin, carrying a large fall wreath as she was leaving Sunday afternoon Erin Cook, also of Quincy, Ill. Both ate chicken and noodles, McLaughin with root beer and Cook with cranberry tea. Cook bought a necklace and Christmas candles.

Saturday's high winds proved challenging to some exhibitors, as they held onto their booths and sheltered their arts along Hannibal's North Main Street at this Hannibal Arts Council festival.

HAC Executive Director Michael Gaines said the wind was strong but the exhibitors managed to keep their booths intact.

The wind was an advantage for at least one artist, as Daniel Bearce of Monroe City reported that on Saturday, his wind chimes “were selling as fast as I could make them,” as they rattled in the wind at his wife Rachel's Copper Creations.

Jewelry artists Norma Marshall and Susie Minzes of Oak Grove, whose Feather Hill Arts booth was across from the Hydesburg United Methodist Church's kettle corn, reported they had “popcorn snow” on Saturday, but Sunday was calm.

The Best of Show Food winner was the traditional cheese soup served each year by the St. John's Lutheran School. Among the customers Sunday were Pares and Chasity Chapple and Pares II, being served by Lakin Weldy, Amy Sternke, Rebecca Harrison and Sierra Brown.

The Best of Show winner was SJ Pottery by Sue Skinner and Joseph Jostes of Salesville, Ark., and formerly of Bethel. She explained their work is “historic ceramics from Europe and America. … We have works inspired by 1800 Century German redware and stoneware, and English mocha and stoneware.”

The second place winner was chair caning by Joann and Charles Cox. They are self-taught, she said, adding after they built a home in Bowling Green, “he wanted to learn how to cane chairs,” so they bought books and CDs and taught themselves. They have been married 64 years, and she is proud of him, working daily at age 87. They were selling a desk chair to Brian and Connie Krigbaum of Rensselaer.

John Lamar of Rockford, Ill., won third place with his copper works. He paused while showing children how to pound on copper to make a design, and said his favorite work this year was a tree in a frame.

The HAC purchase award winner was Lee Atkins, whose Moose Head Woodworks has been in the festival for many years. This year he brought a new nine-foot dining table made from one piece of tulip poplar. He said the wood was from a tree hit by lightning at Greg Addison's home on Palmyra Road.

Foods were selling well both days. The Hannibal Salvation Army's pretzel booth had sold out on Sunday, then brought more and sold out again twice. Salvation Army Advisory Council Chairperson Frannie Altheide reported, “We will be able to help more people in the community because of it.”

As they listened to the old-fashioned festival music, some were inspired to dance, such as Brandon and Kayla Schmitt of Payson, Ill. They were dancing a jig, as their children, Faelyn, Auberon and Finn, watched.

Children enjoyed learning new crafts, such as Isabella Tarpein, 3, of New London, making rope with Elder Dare of Nauvoo.

On Saturday as the Salvation Army Brass Band played, David Polley of Cincinnati, Ohio — a choir director at his church — was invited to lead the band to play “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

Among the artisans, Jeanne Dahlke of Altigo, Wis., was making her local debut, spinning yarn from sheep's wool and angora wool.

A new festival event was scenes from “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and stories by Mark Twain, enacted by a Hannibal-LaGrange University drama group. Members were Leo Hammond, Emily Bonta, Romy Massey, Jeromy Carter, Cali Miller and Steven Hodge. They had earlier performed this at the Hannibal Middle School.

See photos galleries for more scenes of the festival.

bev.darr@courierpost.com