By Kerri Hughes
The annual Gingerbread fair opened this weekend. The annual event is held for one weekend every year, on the first full weekend of November. The fair is a place for local crafters to display, sell their wares, and get together with the broader community.
The event was started 34 years ago, by Marie Vaughn, who began with just 14 crafters set up in her basement. It began as a way for her and other stay at home moms to make money to put their kids through private school and college, but eventually became something bigger.
After 22 years, Marie gave up the reins to Diane Pledger, who has been in charge for the past 12 years. Even after all this time, the handmade trademark of the fair remains the most crucial element.
“We don’t have businesses coming in,” Pledger said. “Everything is handmade or homemade.”
That signature keeps both crafters and customers coming back year after year. Amy Smith, a seller of baked goods, has been participating in the fair on and off for 16 years. She says that her favorite part of the event is getting to see everyone, some of whom she only sees once a year.
In fact, the community connection is the best part of the event, according to several crafters.
“My favorite part is being with the people,” Donna Chappell said. “I love people. Especially these people. I just enjoy seeing the people bring such wonderful things.”
“People come back year after to year to get the exact same thing, too,” Smith said.
The event is open Friday 9am – 7pm. and Saturday 9am – 5pm. It is being held at the Southfork Recreation Center, 4403 Country Club Road. Crafters this year are selling everything from homemade aprons to woodworking to jewelry to baked goods. There is also a café where breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served as well as complementary tea, with donations benefiting local hospice services.
For more information about the Gingerbread Craft Fair, click HERE.