Third annual Sweep In Ozark Folk Center April 13-15

Shawn Hoefer, Broom Maker at the Ozark Folk Center State Park, is enthusiastic. “When I started putting together the first Sweep In, I never thought there might be a third,” he said. “Due to popular demand, though, the third annual Sweep In is coming to the Ozark Folk Center State Park,  April 13, 14 and 15, 2012 and it’s going to be better than ever!”

The event was started by Shawn three years ago to put the art and craft of broom making back in the spotlight, to bring broom makers together to share ideas and resources.

“What started out as a craft became commercialized and industrialized and kind of ugly,” says Shawn, “but now interest in beautiful, functional brooms – usable works of art – is growing. There aren’t a lot of broom maker out there, though, so getting together to share what we know seemed to make sense.”

SweepIn isn’t just about brooms, according to Shawn, and it’s not just for broom makers. “This event is for everyone. This is for people who are interested in crafts. This is for people interested in art. This is for people who want to learn a thing or two about making brooms even if they’ve never made one before. This is for people that like clean floors and rustic decoration. And, this year I have a special treat – literally – a new snack with a connection to brooms.”

This year the event has also generated some sponsors. “This could never have happened without the kind and generous support of the Ozark Folk Center State Park,” says Shawn. “This year, we’ve also got some help from the Arkansas Craft Guild and Gallery, the Mountain View Area Chamber of Commerce, Artisans Market on the Square at the Arkansas Folk Festival, and some new friends at They’re assisting in supplying posters, flyers, programs, prizes, and the snack – popped sorghum.”

The schedule of events includes beginner level classes in making four kinds of brooms – a turkey wing, a whisk, a hearth broom, and a parlor broom. One class, the rooster tail broom, is geared towards broom makers with a bit of experience. There are also contests for making brooms and a people’s choice art broom competition. Throughout the weekend, there will be demonstrations in dyeing, broom making, mop making, and preparing that mysterious snack food. Of course, there will be plenty of beautiful, functional brooms for sale throughout the weekend.

More information is available on the Ozark Folk Center State Park web site at www.ozark There is also a registration form there that will let folks register for the event – the $15 registration fee covers admission to the three day event and a single concert at the Ozark Folk Center State Park.

The Craft Village at the Ozark Folk Center is open Tuesday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Regular admission to the Ozark Folk Center State Park Craft Village is $10 for adults and $6.00 for children under 6-12. Children under 6 are free.