Time to get crafty

He­gins Val­ley Arts and Crafts Faire to cel­e­brate 27th an­niver­sary

The Republican Herald - This Weekend - - Front Page - BY ERIC PEDDIGREE COPY ED­I­TOR eped­di­gree@re­pub­li­can­her­ald.com

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.

JAC­QUE­LINE DORMER/STAFF PHOTO

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.

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