One of the largest antique, arts and crafts shows in North America takes over the Barrie waterfront this civic long weekend.

Artisans started setting up early this morning for the hundreds of thousands of people who are expected to take in the 43rd annual Kempenfest.

“We have 380 exhibitors this year--40 antique dealers--35 or 40 sponsors so it's massive--it covers almost 2 kilometers of the waterfront,” said organizer Tom Aikins.

Marc De Groote is one of hundreds of artisans set up at Kempenfest and he says it’s one of his favourite shows. “the people are phenomenal--the town is phenomenal--it attracts a huge crowd.”

This weekend you will be able to witness art history in the making because during Kempenfest De Groote will be creating his submission for the Canadian wildlife habitat stamp competition and once again he's up against some of the most talented artists in Canada.

“The first time i was invited i thought someone made a big error--because my competition is Robert Bateman, Michael Dumas and others--it gave me goose bumps for days,” said De Groote.

Live music is also a big part of Kempenfest and some of the acts on stage this year include The Martels, Chilliwack, Zeus and Aaron Pritchett.

There is also a mid-way with rides the whole family can enjoy.

There will be two free shuttle buses running all day to and from Kempenfest. One will pick up and dropping off passengers at the Bayfield mall and the other shuttle bus will run to and from the Allandale recreation centre.