Calico Fort began as a dream by a group of local citizens whose desire was to promote our small town, to create an interest which would draw visitors, and develop an outstanding Arts and Crafts festival. A number of possible themes were considered but, considering our historical background, Calico Fort was selected.
A life long resident of Fort Deposit wrote the poem Calico Capers in anticipation of its success.
One of the local citizens volunteered the use of a pine thicket on her property for the show. And the work began, everyone was invited to help clear the brier bushes, the kudzu vines, limbs, pine cones and debris. A fence, reminiscent of an old fort and an Indian teepee were constructed, along with an assortment of rustic buildings to be used for the food concessions and even some exhibitors.
155 exhibitors accepted our invitation to be part of the first Calico Fort on April 8 and 9, 1972. An estimated 5000 visitors responded with enthusiasm to the invitation to enjoy an old time country fair complete with demonstrations and illustrations to amuse visitors, whether a toddler, teen or old time fair lover.
The first show included a variety of arts, handmade crafts and antiques. Demonstrations delighting the fair-goers included a glass blower and a weaver who operated her loom. Ceramics, candles and jewelry were made on the spot and portraits were sketched for those who were just a little patient.
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