That's where Penny Lewis, manager of the Carrollton Cultural Arts Center, puts the festival — right at the center of renowned and excellent artwork and crafts by artists all over the country.
"We've got 70 incredible artists that have been juried in, which means that they had to go through a process to be selected," Lewis said. "We do all this work for the artists."
MeccaFest will be Saturday and Sunday at the Cultural Arts Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Festival admission is free, and Lewis said there will be lots of free children's activities and entertainment.
The Carrollton event, now in its ninth year, has been successful because it's a show put on by other artists who operate festivals for a living, Lewis said.
“Most festivals are run by administrators,” she said. “We’ve been able to bring the best features of festivals from across the country.”
Twenty-four local artists from Carroll County will have their artwork and crafts on display this weekend, which Lewis said is important to the event.
"It's a neat, neat community that occurs here," she said.
Lewis highlighted the "family feeling" for artists who have attended the festival several times before.
She said artists are sometimes housed by host families or are given special discounted rates at local hotels.
"It's been called the most artist-friendly festival in the country," Lewis said. "So we strive to preserve that good reputation."
MeccaFest will feature live entertainment, both inside and outside the center.
The "living sculpture" with 65 different personas in his repertoire will be at the event, tricking and entertaining attendees.
"The way we see it, he's got 65 different personas, so we can bring him in for the next 65 years and no one will know it's the same guy," Lewis said.
Also working over the weekend will be Shawn McCann, with a New York based chalk art company. McCann specializes in what he calls "illusionary art" on sidewalks.
The Minnesota artist will create an illusionary 3-D chalk art masterpiece on the plaza in front of the art center. The art will make it appear as though McCann has dug a hole in the concrete, but it will be an illusionary effect made by the chalk.
"It's going to look like you'd be able to fall in the hole," Lewis said. "It's going to be incredible. He'll be working on it all day Saturday, and it will be on display on Sunday."
Musical entertainment will feature the George Britt Band, Mimi Gentry, the Lisdoon Varna Celtic band, West Side Winds orchestra and many others.
Patrons may also present awards to the Mecca artists and make purchases through the Patron Purchase Program. Details are available online at www.meccafest.com, or by calling 770-838-1083.
Five children activity areas will be available where children can go and create their own art, all for free.
The theater will also be open to festival goers and will include live staged readings of poetry and short stories by local authors.
MeccaFest is sponsored by The Carrollton Artist Guild, which Lewis calls, “one of the Cultural Arts Center’s most active groups.”
Additional information is available online at www.MeccaFest.com or www.visitcarrollton.com.