Weekend craft fairs a boon to area holiday shoppers

Sunday, November 22, 2009
Visitors and vendors fill the aisles of the Arena Building in Cape Girardeau Saturday. The River Valley Craft Club is sponsoring the weekend Christmas Craft Expo at the arena. (LAURA SIMON)

For a fee of a few dollars, area residents were ushered into a shopping wonderland where quality homemade craft items were easy to find. Variety was no problem and gift ideas were plentiful amid the several craft shows held in Cape Girardeau this weekend.

About 300 artisans and crafters filled the Show Me Center and the Osage Community Centre with jewelry, pottery, home decor, wood-crafted items and clothing at the craft shows. Just a short drive from one side of Cape Girardeau to the other could net plenty of gifts for everyone on Santa's list.

The event is sponsored by the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri. One $5 pass admitted guests to both locations for two days. Today-only passes are $3. Proceeds from the show support the arts council's year-round programs.

Melissa Miller, executive director of the arts council, expects a big crowd for both days. "This year's event is starting out great with wonderful weather. Everyone is in an excited mood for shopping. An hour after we opened at the Osage Centre we had already sold 2,000 tickets to the event. We have vendors already wanting to book booth space for next year."

A holiday craft fair continues today at Hanover Lutheran Church. It has free admission for both days and includes a variety of craft and gift items for all ages including jewelry, bags, quilts, sports decor and fragrances. A door prize is given out every hour.

Four-year-old Sadie Middleton from Jackson looks at pendant necklaces with her mom Kerrie at the Osage Center Saturday. Over 2000 people visited the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri sponsored Christmas Arts and Crafts Extravaganza at the Osage Center Saturday. (LAURA SIMON)

According to Gina Wunderlich, president of the Hanover Lutheran Home and School Association, the event has 30 vendors. "This is our first year for this event. We wanted to create an outreach event for the community and, since craft fairs are popular, we thought we would host this one. We plan to use the proceeds to help support our parochial school."

"This is our first time to show in Cape Girardeau," said Claudia Chandler, a vendor from Tennessee, "and we plan on booking a booth here again for next year."

Another craft fair this weekend is the Christmas Craft Expo 2009 at the Arena Building, sponsored by the River Valley Craft Club. It is the 34th year for the craft expo.

The price is $5 for an all-weekend pass, or $3 for today only. Everything from hand-painted wooden lawn decorations, sweaters, hats, leather belts and wooden bowls are available.

Want to go?

The crafts fair continues today at these four locations:

* The Arts Council of Southeast Missouri event is held at both the Osage Community Centre and Show Me Center and continues from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission price is $3 and admits you to both places.

* A holiday craft fair at Hanover Lutheran Church, 2949 Perryville Road from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

* River Valley Craft Club at Arena Building continues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $3.

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