Oviedo Woman's Club is planning its 41st annual Great Day in the Country arts and crafts festival on Saturday, Nov. 8 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Lawton Elementary School and the historic Lawton House in Oviedo.

Hosted by the GFWC Oviedo Woman's Club, Great Day in the Country is a huge family-oriented arts and crafts event. With more than 60,000 people in attendance, Great Day in the Country is one of the largest festivals in Central Florida. This year there will be more than 400 arts and crafts vendors, business booths and community-service booths.

"This event is a 41-year tradition of a great festival and a fundraiser to give back to the community," said Roberta McQueen, president of the Oviedo Woman's Club.

The Oviedo Woman's Club is comprised of about 150 women from the area who meet throughout the year to do good things in the community.

"This is a philanthropic effort. We have given back to the community more than $600,000 in the past eight years," McQueen said. "Our club awards college scholarships to our local high school students and needed supplies for local elementary, middle and high schools. We also help the local charities who help those in need."

This year, the Food Court and Entertainment areas at Great Day in the Country have been expanded. The Food Court area now has covered seating, where patrons can sit and enjoy their meal while the children enjoy what the new Kids Area has to offer. The children's play area is complete with finger painting, face painting and snow cones.

The Food Court will feature a variety of food trucks and food vendors, including BBQ, seafood, hot dogs and burgers, as well as snacks such as kettle corn, soft pretzels, ice cream and donuts.

There will also be featured entertainment on the main stage throughout the day. Performances on the main stage include Grimes Alley, Kevin Rogers and Diamond Dixie. The main entertainment stage will also host the Student Art Fest, in which 11 Seminole County schools submit artwork.

A second stage at the historical Lawton House will feature hometown talents such as the Celery City String Band.

"We have created our very own Country Store Cafe near the Lawton House where you will find our country store, where folks can enjoy our homemade treats in a smaller quantity with a hot or cold drink. There will be flavored coffee for sale and our famous bean soup," McQueen said.

There will be some seating available, but it is recommended to bring chairs or a blanket to sit on to enjoy the entertainment throughout the day.

Many local arts and crafts vendors will be displaying their creations, which are available for purchase. They range from rustic crafty things you can hang on your doorknob for the holidays to toys, furniture, beautifully painted gourds and oil paintings.

"This is my first year going to Great Day in the Country. I'm so excited to go eat the homemade baked goods, try the famous bean soup and see all different vendors," said Raegan Sauer, a senior communication sciences and disorders major. "I really like rustic crafts, though, so I'm hoping to find something to decorate more of my dorm room."

There is also a new 'checkroom' at the Information Booth to hold your purchases while you continue to enjoy the festival.

Most food truck vendors accept cash only, but some arts and crafts vendors accept credit cards, it just depends on the vendor.

Admission is free, so come visit this local event. There is also free parking at Oviedo High School and a free, shuttle bus running throughout the entire event.

Country Store and Great Day purchases benefit Oviedo Woman's Club charitable causes.

Great Day in the Country is located on the grounds of Lawton Elementary School at 151 Graham Ave., Oviedo, Fla. 32765.

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