Time to get crafty
Hegins Valley Arts and Crafts Faire to celebrate 27th anniversary
People are encouraged to “come to the country” to see the finest work from craftsmen around the region. The 27th annual Hegins Valley Arts and Crafts Faire will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Hegins Park. Parking is $2 and benefits the Hegins Park Association. Dogs are not permitted, with the exception of service dogs. The show is held rain or shine.
More than 200 selected craftsmen from Pennsylvania and surrounding states will be demonstrating and displaying their work. There will also be a variety of food, starting with breakfast at 7 a.m.
The number of vendors has more than doubled since the fair’s first year in 1990. That year they had 90 vendors, followed by 190 and then 206 in its third year.
Many of the crafters from the inaugural event still reserve their spaces every year, according to a history of the fair written by Cindy Herring, one of the original organizers.
And while the return of those crafters is anticipated, the organizers are always trying to grow the fair.
“We desire to make the future fairs bigger and better,” Kathryn Otto, committee member, said.
Through its success, the fair has been able to provide financial support to local organizations and community projects. Since its first year, they have donated $208,850. They have also contributed to community needs and disasters, such as New York School Disaster from Sept. 11, 2001.
Currently, 12 organizations receive donations from the fair.
“We thank all who have supported our event over the years so we can share our proceeds with various community organizations,” Otto said.
As with the vendors, some of the original committee members continue to put together the event. Although some members have left, they have been able to fill the void for the betterment of the event.
“Each member has their own niche of expertise in an area that leads to our success,” Otto said.
The members work year-round to put on the best possible show.
“The organization and cooperation of our members is also a key factor to our growth,” Otto said.
As with any outdoor event, weather plays a factor.
According to Herring’s history, rain has hit Friday or Saturday morning but never during the
show. Hurricanes in 1999 and 2003 caused headaches for the committee. However, power outages forcing school and businesses to close provided plenty of volunteers to help clean the park before the show.
In 2004, Hurricane Ivan forced the show’s cancellation. Once the rain stopped though, dedicated vendors and shoppers still came out once roads were passable and power was restored.
Another year that the committee almost canceled the fair was in 2001. The event was scheduled for the Saturday after the attacks on Sept. 11. After wavering on the decision, the committee went ahead with the scheduled event.
According to Herring’s history, three fighter jets flew over the park as the fair was beginning, creating an uncomfortable atmosphere. However, nothing transpired and the fair went on to be a success.
According to the National Weather Service, there is a slight chance for rain showers and thunderstorms after 2 p.m. Saturday. Temperatures will be in the high 70s.
According to Herring’s history, comments from crafters are mostly favorable, and it’s that feedback and appreciation that drives the committee to move forward.
“We are happy with our achievements in our 26 years from our humble beginnings,” Otto said.
For more information, call 570-682-9541 or 570-682-8181.
Some of the vendors that will be at the craft show on Saturday include, from left, HJD Ceramics, Carlisle, featuring custom made and hand painted ceramics; Rock Reborn, Harrisburg, featuring jewelry made from guitar strings; Carol’s Embroidery N Gifts, Mount Joy, featuring embroidery, sewing and special orders for baby blankets and throws, etc.
Hegins Valley Arts & Crafts Faire committee members, from left, Lois Bennick, Carol Masser and Cindy Herring, all of Hegins, discuss plans for the 27th annual event, scheduled for Saturday at Hegins Park.