The longest-running arts festival in the Pioneer Valley is back.
Cancelled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 48th annual Mattoon Street Arts Festival will return on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“We may not be as big as we normally have been, but currently we are at 90% capacity with over 90 exhibitors, food vendors and strolling musicians. And we have attracted the attention of about 20 new exhibitors this year,” said Robert McCarroll, a member of the Mattoon Street Historic Preservation Society, sponsors of the event.
Held on Mattoon Street in Springfield with its Victorian rowhouses, artists and crafters will be selling their creations in a variety of categories including painting and printmaking, photography, jewelry, wood, metal, ceramics, glass, fibers, and mixed media.
“For the first time in a long while we will have someone who lives on Mattoon Street exhibiting at our fest,” McCarroll said about Kat Taylor and her line of skin care products.
Taylor, who worked for over 20 years in the field of law enforcement, moved from Washington, D.C., to Ridgefield, Conn., where he skin problems began, before eventually moving 10 years ago to Springfield.
“I developed allergies and would break out in hives and itch uncontrollably. I saw seven specialists while living in Connecticut and tests always came back negative. So, I started reading, conducting my own research, and experimented making my own soaps, lotions and shower gels to calm my skin,” Taylor said.
After getting relief from using her own concoctions, Taylor, noticed that many of her friends suffered from dry skin and acne. She began suggesting her own handcrafted products to help them. As her friends’ skin began to clear up, the word quickly spread about her products.
It was while living on Mattoon Street that Taylor created her line of unisex skincare products formulated for men and women for the purpose of hydrating, reducing the appearance of fine lines, and to assist in reducing acne outbreaks.
“It’s an all-natural, organic, vegan skin care line with home scented accessories, including 100% soy scented candles and diffusers, room sprays, and goat milk soap. I actually milk the goats, sometimes together with Shannon Rice, who owns a farm in Amherst,” Taylor said, who launched her business online on Black Friday, Nov. 27, 2020.
Her many products – all boasting “Made in Massachusetts, USA” on the front label – include Frank + Sand Facial Wash, Aftershave + Toner Mist, Facial Serum, Hydro Lux Facial Cream, Shaving Oil, Beard and Mustache Oil, Lavender and Peppermint Lip Balm, Just Goat Body Lotion, several varieties of goat milk soap and more.
If Taylor looks or sounds familiar when visiting her booth, she is also an actress, commercial print model, media personality and voice over talent who has appeared in commercials for Wayfair, Vermont State Lottery, Care.com, Hartford Hospital and others. Since 2009 she has hosted the overnight radio show Melodic Whispers on the local WEIB 106.3 Smooth FM channel out of Northampton.
Throughout both days, shoppers can enjoy strolling Mattoon Street to the tune of festive music, which Taylor curated.
Saturday’s entertainment includes Dominic Cucinotti on flute, 10 a.m.-noon; members of the the Springfield Symphony Orchestra with some soothing sounds, noon-1 p.m.; vocalist Donna Holmes, 1-2 p.m.; Heshima Moja and David Allen Rivera, vocalist and drummer, 2-3 p.m.; and Joe Wilson on jazz saxophone, 4-5 p.m.
On Sunday, Joe Wilson returns from 10-11 a.m. along with Heshima Moja and David Allen River from 11 a.m.-noon, Springfield Symphony Orchestra from noon-1 p.m., and Dominic Cucinotti from 3-4 p.m. Also, Leon Spragley and Chucky Langford, vocalist and saxophonist, join the lineup from 1-3 p.m.
In addition to music to soothe the soul, there is a food court to fill the tummy including NOSH, Cajun on the Go, Moe’s Dogs, Everything About Crepes, Granny’s Baking Table, and Island Cow Ice Cream.
“I love the camaraderie among the neighbors on Mattoon Street. We all look after each other,” Taylor said, who devotes her spare time to the Mattoon Street Historic Preservation Society.
Parking at the TD Bank lot on Dwight and Harrison Streets and admission are free.