Sensual scents waft from sage and lavender soaps, rainbows glint off stained glass suncatchers and delighted children squeal while being chased by foam crocodiles. It's all part of the annual Art in the Park.
The Allied Arts Gallery Association's 61st show continues from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. today in Howard Amon Park off George Washington Way in Richland. Admission is free.
"This is the best place to shop and meet friends you haven't seen in ages," said Mary Jane Lewis of Pasco. "I rarely miss a show."
Many of the nearly 250 artists and craftsmen are new this year, including Kevin Sybrowsky of Salt Lake City.
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He creates metal garden artwork -- check out his bobble-head dogs and cats -- but what really catches the eye are his cauldrons of dancing flames. They are firepits, though some stand on 4- and 6-foot metal columns, made of metal bowls and fired either by gas or wood.
"They're something new this year and are proving to be very popular. I sell a lot of them," he said.
Sybrowsky cuts swirls, stars and other designs into the steel.
"So even when there's no flames the cauldrons are decorative. You have a piece of sculpture to enjoy all the time," he said.
This is also Kathy Wetherell's first time at the event, even though the Kennewick artist has been selling at craft shows for almost 35 years. She makes purses from recycled wool and this year added soft, plush tea sets made of handmade, washable felt.
Wetherell's daughter, Christie Wonders of Kennewick, said, "Her inspiration was my 9-year-old niece, Emily, who has just about every food allergy there is, plus environmental ones too.
"We visited her in the hospital and there wasn't anything warm and friendly in the room. She can't have stuffed toys because, unless they can be washed, they carry allergens."
Other newcomers are Harold and Rhonda Chase of Chase Honey Co. of Otis Orchards. They have a variety of honeys, including one flavored with huckleberries, and beeswax candles molded into animals, pine cones, bee hives and other shapes.
Many artists return year after year but always have something new to offer. Pianist Gary Jess of Federal Way has been coming to the show for 15 years and has 19 CDs. His latest -- released Friday -- is Tower of Tranquility.
"This is a wonderful show," he said. "The people here are dedicated listeners, they always come by looking for my latest CD."
If you need a laugh, drop by Jim Snook's booth. The Klamath Falls cartoonist pokes fun at sportsmen, RVers, professionals, anyone and everyone. His latest calendar for 2012 has 12 original cartoons, all with an outdoor theme.
You also will find handmade clothing, pottery, photographs, watercolors and acrylics, handmade furniture, toys, suncatchers, leather accessories, whimsical signs and more.
Cat lovers will be happy to know Bill and Claire Delffs of Eugene, Ore., are back after a decade hiatus, and they have brought their fat cat pottery in a variety of new designs.
"It's functional pottery," Bill Delffs said, demonstrating their garlic grater plate. It has a rough center for grating the garlic and a lip to hold oil, vinegar and other liquids.
"Use it for dipping baguette slices, shrimp, chicken, or whatever," he said.
When hunger strikes check out the foods, snacks and beverages available -- mainly at the fingernail stage area of the park. At one booth, the Rolling Hills Chorus of Sweet Adelines, offer a song as they take your money.
To find out if your favorite artists are at the show, go to www.alliedartsrichland.org, click on Art in the Park, then on "Download the Program."
The program includes a list of the foods available for sale and prices. There are also printed programs available at the information booth by the restrooms.
If you don't want the hassle of finding a parking place near the park let Ben Franklin Transit get you there. Shuttles run from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. today from Fran Rish Stadium at Richland High School, off Lee Boulevard and the Uptown Shopping Center to the parking lot at the Richland Community Center.
Cost is $1.25 each way or $3.50 for a family of three or more each way.