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Outdoor festival welcomes spring
6 Spring Fling pic3
Hans Meier gave away about 100 wooden puzzles he made to children at last weekend's annual festival. - photo by Michele Hester Dawson Community News

Stepping up to the children’s area at the Spring Fling in Dawsonville Sunday afternoon, Nathan Frazier told his sister he was going to win a goldfish.


Instead he won two — one for him and one for her.


“Alright,” squealed the 8-year-old, as the second ping pong ball he tossed landed in a blue fish bowl.


“You had to hit the blue bowl, and I did.”


In its ninth year, the festival is one of the biggest fundraisers for the Dawson County Arts Council, which offers a variety of youth and adult art programs throughout the year.


Organizers said the children’s activities were a hit and a welcome addition to the mix of garden inspired arts and crafts this year.


“The children really enjoyed the activities for them,” said arts council volunteer Jeanne Tompkins.


Vendor artists also made an effort to draw the kids in to their works.


“I’ve made about 100 of these today to give them to the kids,” said Hans Meier, holding up a small wooden jigsaw puzzle he carved on site. “They all think they can put it back together quickly, and some can. But some cannot.”


The festival, which is held the first weekend in May each year, featured more than 40 vendors from across the southeast and artists offering nature-inspired works of art ranging from colorful glass windowpanes and handmade jewelry, to eclectic metal garden designs and collections of quality blooming flowers from area nurseries.


“Saturday was a little disappointing with the weather, but Sunday afternoon’s turnout was great,” Tompkins said. “All the vendors said they did really well.”


Other weekend events included a car show, bike ride and fun run.