UPDATE: The Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival will close early Friday, at 1 p.m., due to the threat of weather. For updates, tap here.

FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WKRG) — After last year’s stormy start to Fairhope Arts & Craft Festival, artists and organizers are especially aware of the threat of severe weather Friday.

Marissa Thetford, Fairhope Arts and Crafts Co-chairmen, says they are fully prepared for severe weather.

“We are working closely with City of Fairhope, the police department, the national weather service, Baldwin EMA, to keep an eye on the weather,” Thetford said.

208 artists will be at the festival and some of the artists WKRG spoke to are not too worried about the possibility of severe weather.

Julie Juneau, an artist who came all the way from New Orleans, says she will not let the rain keep her from having fun and showing off her work.

“Rain or shine, I’m here so I’m in for the festival, no matter what happens, I am going to be here and I’ll be in my booth,” Juneau said.

Kennedy Park, an artist from Pensacola, says she is used to the weather along the Gulf Coast and says she will be in her booth rain or shine.

“You know, something I have learned from living down here is the weather does not know what it’s doing until it’s doing it, so I am not worried at all,” Park said.

But for some artists, there is a little bit of fear about the possible severe weather. 

Shannon Gandy, an artist, from Fairhope is a tad worried about the weather and all of the tents.

“My concerns are, batting down the hatches and keeping my tent and my merchandise covered,” said Gandy. “I keep all of the merchandise for the sales tent in my bus to keep it from getting wet and just keeping all of our volunteers and our artists safe.”

The festival is set to begin at 10 a.m. and close down at 5 p.m..