You walk into the middle school, buy your ticket, and look around. There are booths everywhere, each with their own unique design. Some display scarves, other display candles. All of these items are homemade, not something you could just buy at the store. You see unique things everywhere. Cute scarves, necklaces, rings, decorative aprons, and a whole bunch of other interesting stuff. Every face you see is friendly; smiling; urging for you to come over and say hi. You don’t know where to start because every booth looks interesting in its own way.
The one really interesting thing about craft fairs, is that everything there is homemade; not made in some factory but made by someone’s hands. For some of the vendors, it’s their first year; for others, it’s their 30th time coming. One of the newcomers was a booth with two ladies who made chokers. These chokers weren’t like the ones you could find at the store. These chokers were unique. These chokers were one of a kind. You would never be able to buy these at the store, and they were far more creative and beautiful than what you would find at the store. These young women have loved doing crafts all of their lives, but they had never thought of selling them, that is until this year. This was their first year selling anything that they have made. Making chokers was a thing they did as kids. They would send them to their friends as a way to say ‘I miss you’.
Another booth was Christmas themed. It had mostly ornaments, but it also had practical things that the owner of the booth had made more vibrant and eye-catching. She had learned to use random objects she found, and the outcomes were quite interesting. Her favorite thing to paint is snowmen; she paints them on everything. She’ll paint snowmen on actual ornaments, or a pan, even a nutcracker. She has been going to craft-fairs for twenty-two years. As a kid, she would paint decorations with her mother, and even when her mother passed away she carried on the tradition. Now, by going to these craft fairs, and by selling her merchandise, she is further honoring her mother’s tradition.
Most people don’t realize how much work it takes to set up something this big. The Lion’s Club Committee is in charge of setting this up. There are usually 75 vendors a year, so the Lion’s Club, has to find a place for every single one of these vendors and their booths. Not to mention, the vendor’s usually want a specific spot, so deciding who gets the spot they want is another task. Lion’s Club member, David Pierce, states that he often sees the same vendors year after year; they’re generally happy with the craft-fair. They try to give everybody plenty of time to make plans; they give out the applications for space a year in advance. They generally get 700-800 people a day; 700-800 people looking to buy things.
The Lion’s club uses the proceeds to help pay for little kids to get their eyes tested. They also sponsor Fidelco; a organization that trains guide dogs, for the blind. They give out four scholarships every year, to kids with good grades or other accomplishments. The Lion’s Club also gives money to organizations that help pay for glasses, for those that can’t afford them.