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    By Josh Cook

    There are a few Mother's Day traditions that are ubiquitous to the Louisville-area.

    You must get mom a card.

    You must take her to lunch or dinner.

    And you accompany her to the Art in the Arbor.

    The two-day fine arts and crafts festival, which is in its 43rd year, is annually held on Mother's Day weekend on the grounds behind the Thomas Jefferson Unitarian Church.

    Between 5,000 and 8,000 visitors were expected to set foot on the grassy grounds. This year, unlike last, the event was rain-free so even those dressed in their Sunday best didn't leave muddied.

    Although both days were cool, particularly Saturday, they weren't uncomfortable and that's likely why Sunday afternoon there were still people coming in at 4 p.m. (an hour before the scheduled end of the festivities) when we left.

    This year's theme was Art Builds Community and it featured some interactive art projects as well as some Kentucky-based food and wine. Mixed media (2-D and 3-D) exhibits, calligraphy, ceramics, fiber, florals, furniture, glass, jewelry, metal sculpture, metalworkings, musical instruments, paintings, photography, sculpture and woodworking were themes of the 100 artists who set up booths.

    There was also live music as well as plenty of food, including the gelato that was the perfect dessert for our Mother's Day lunch.

    There was plenty to see and do, even for the tots-to-teens crowd too. The face-painting station was especially popular the elementary school set.

    Among adults the artists' charity raffle is a popular place to plop down $1 tickets.

    While Art in the Arbor does have some of the same vendors as St. James and other local art festivals it doesn't have the overflowing, shoulder-to-shoulder crowds yet and it's still possible to negotiate a child's stroller in the pathways between the people and the exhibits. Even pets are welcome here. However moms are the most honored guests.

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