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      Annual Heartland festival takes over downtown square

      Sunday is the official day of fall and as the season arrives, so does a fresh crop of Heartland festivals.

      Sunday was the first official day of fall and as the season arrived, so did a fresh crop of Heartland festivals.

      The 39th Annual Red Barn Arts and Crafts Festival attracts thousands of visitors from around the country and the world.

      â??Kind of express your personality,â?? said Natlaia Butler, a knitter. â??That's how we was born, express something very, very unusual. I love to do this."

      Natalia was born in Eastern Europe, and has been knitting since she was just nine years old, now she's doing it for a living.

      Natalia is just one of several fine artists and crafters participating in this yearâ??s Red Barn Festival.

      John McMurry is another artist; he lives near Atlanta, Missouri. Heâ??s a photographer and his wife tells us he loves snapping shots of landscapes.

      â??This is my first arts show that Iâ??ve ever been a part of,â?? said McMurry. â??It's kind of an experiment to see if I can make a living off selling art like this. Itâ??s great fabulous, the people are wonderful."

      The festival committee selects exhibitors based on standards of excellence with emphasis on originality and uniqueness. That's why hundreds flooded the historic downtown square in Kirksville.

      The Red Barn Festival also awarded prizes to vendors and demonstrators based on originality, uniqueness, and quality of work.