Originally created 09/12/98

Aiken's Makin' fair begins



AIKEN -- First-day crowds appeared sparse but steady at Aiken's Makin' on Friday, but the huge arts-and-crafts festival still is expected to have 30,000 visitors by day's end today.

Saturday never fails to draw people in droves to the event, which features food, entertainment, a popular waiter/waitress race and the wares of 250 artisans and crafters.

Aiken's Makin' began 22 years ago as a showcase for locally made products but now draws participants from several states.

They spread their goods beneath the trees on downtown parkways for a six-block stretch, where visitors can stroll and shop in the shade.

Entertainment begins at 10 a.m. today at Regions Bank Operations Center on the corner of Richland Avenue and Chesterfield Street.

The craft tables and food trailers are lined up to the west.

The 3 p.m. race features popular waiters and waitresses from Aiken restaurants balancing loaded trays on an obstacle course by the fountain at Park Avenue and Laurens Street.

Clowns and strolling minstrels will perform throughout the day.

Parking will be streetside and in perimeter lots.

The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.