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Choochokam was weekend of fun in sun

South Whidbey's annual summer event, Choochokam, Langley's Festival of the Arts, attracted a large crowd last weekend, but not the numbers seen in previous years.

"I think the crowd was down a bit this year," said Don Zontine, co-director of the festival with Chris Adams. "In spite of that, vendors reported doing very well, so people were buying."

"Definitely the most popular items were pottery and jewelry," Zontine said. Shoppers could browse 150 booths of arts and crafts that also included fashions, housewares, toys and garden art.

This year's festival was the 27th annual event. Choochokam is sponsored by the Island Arts Council.

Entertainment was popular, along with a number of food booths. Performers ranged from skateboarders to poets, along with the music that brings visitors back to Choochokam each year.

Gastronomical fare included curry, crepes, Caesar salad, marionberry sundaes and the famous brats and sauerkraut. The Langley-South Whidbey Chamber of Commerce also did a good business serving imported brews and wine in its traditional beer garden.

"The shuttle bus proved to be a success too," Zontine said. "It kept the numbers of cars parking in Langley down a bit."

Expect some changes at next year's event.

"We will be moving the food booths to Anthes and adding some more vendors to second street. This should improve crowd flow," Zontine said.

"As usual, Langley is really the cornerstone of the event. The community is great," he said.

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