Holiday fair rings in the shopping season

HANSVILLE — Now that Halloween has ended and this year’s costumes have been stowed in the closet in hopes they will fit youngsters again in 2008, many residents are turning their thoughts to the impending holiday season.

With the goal to help North End communities get a jump on their shopping this year, the Hansville Art & Craft Guild is once again hosting its annual Holiday Fair.

Twenty-five vendors will be hauling in their wares — perhaps in large red bags — for the event.

Event chairwoman and guild president Gale Johnson said in the seven years she has been organizing the fair, each has been better than the one before.

“We’re continuing what we were doing last year, it was the first year we did the Holiday Cafe, and this year is a continuation of that,” she said. The Holiday Cafe, a place for shoppers to rest their feet and have a bite to eat in between purchases, was a rousing success. “We have 25 tables full this year, and we have some new vendors, and the existing vendors have diversified. We have five gift baskets we raffle off, these are items donated by vendors who buy tables from me.”

Johnson said she was recently in a grocery store and was approached by a woman who won a gift basket at last year’s fair, and used the items as presents. She told Johnson she saved a bundle on gifts, as the raffle ticket was only $2. This year the cost will be the same, and all money collected goes to either creating quilts to raffle off or to local charities.

“It’s great fun. It’s always something to look forward to,” said guild member Sandra Wright. “We always have new vendors, and we will have the Holiday Cafe again. There’s no place to eat out here, and it’s nice to have a place to eat lunch and do a little shopping.”

If residents are seeking even more holiday cheer and events to celebrate the season, the Hansville Ladies Aid will have a table in the cafe selling tickets for their Christmas home tour, featuring six decorated houses in Hansville. Funds raised through the tour go toward helping local neighbors who may need a little help during the winter, or at any time. They also assist with upkeep of the Hansville Cemetery.

“This is a very fellowship event,” Johnson said. She added it helps both the vendors and the community in coming together and kicking off the holidays as neighbors. “I am doing a table for my personal business as well. We’ll have greeters at the door, everything to make it fun.”

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