NEWBURYPORT — Residents and out-of-towners reveled in the warm weather Sunday at the annual Fall Harvest Festival. Temperatures were in the 60s as people gathered in the downtown for the festivities. 

The festival, sponsored by the Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry, runs through 5 p.m. today and features live music, carnival-style food, the 18th annual Scarecrow Contest and more than a dozen craft vendor booths.

For some artisans, this was one of their first arts and crafts fairs. For others, it was routine.

Carolina Portillo, owner of Recycled Glass Jewelry in Melrose, has been participating in the festival for years. She said this year wasn't as busy so far, but she was happy to be in her requested spot, right across from The Purple Onion.

Portillo's jewelry is created using an "eco-friendly approach" with recycled materials such as leather and float glass.

Maeve Mueller, a Cambridge-based ceramic artist and jewelry designer, has mostly participated in markets in the Boston area. This is her first time at the Newburyport festival.

"The weather has been amazing and so have the people," she said, adding that it has allowed for people to open up and give her a lot of "feedback" on her designs. "It's giving me a lot of exposure."

Judith Costello, a resident and former owner of a card and gift store in Newburyport for 10 years, said she wanted to see if she "had the knack still" for selling crafts. On display, she had three simple white T-shirts with slogans such as "High Street Homeless" and "Plum Island Bobsled Club."

"People think they are really funny," she said. "High Street Homeless" is, according to Costello, "for people who have been displaced from High Street because it's so expensive now and nobody can afford to live there."

Carolyn Grieco, owner of Carolyn's Farm Kitchen in Haverhill, makes small-batch jams and preserves, toasted granola and baking mixes. She saw mostly out-of-towners beginning their holiday shopping.

"It's mostly visitors," she said. "I ask everyone where they're from."

As of Sunday afternoon, she had seen a number of people from around New England and even some from Alberta, Canada, drawing them in with samples and talk of her apple cider doughnut mix and jams aplenty.

Brian Doser, also known as The Music Man, performed children's music at 10 a.m. and the North Shore's Party On took the stage at 2 p.m.

The festival continues today with live music from the All Got You Tour at 10 a.m. and 2 of Us Beatles Acoustic Duo at 2 p.m. Many of the same vendors will be there again.

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Staff reporter Heather Alterisio can be reached via email at or by phone at 978-961-3149. Follow her on Twitter @HeathAlt.

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