Fun at the Holiday Craft Fair!


Caroline Krofcheck, Staff Writer

The 28th annual Pennsylvania Arts and Crafts Fair took place last month. On two consecutive weekends, October 21, 22, 23, and 29, and 30 holiday shoppers and crafters descended on the Washington County Fair Grounds. Each year the fair kicks off the holiday season. People flock to get an early start on their holiday shopping. There is something for everyone. Adult admission was $6.50, seniors $6, children 12-15 $3, and children under 12 got in free. Parking was also free. 


There were over 230 exhibit spaces with an outstanding variety of wares. The main focus was the upcoming Christmas season but there was a smattering of fall decor. Fairgoers could shop, browse, and eat. Many of the booths were holiday-themed decorations, lit-up houses, tree ornaments, wreaths, and garlands. There were various themes: old-fashioned trucks and trains, gingerbread families, snowmen, and gnomes. Apparently the hot trend this Christmas is gnomes. There were standing gnomes, sitting gnomes, little gnomes, and big gnomes. We couldn’t tell if there were happy or sad gnomes, because their faces were obscured by their large hats. “I just love all the gnomes!” said Emily from Claysville. “Looks like a gnome Christmas,” said Jerry from Johnsville. Gnomes were everywhere, there were indoor and outdoor gnomes as there were indoor and outdoor Christmas decorations. The outdoors included doormats, flags, figures, and full-size sleighs. 


Many of the vendors sold jewelry. Some booths were winter or holiday themed. Some jewelry booths were not themed and were gift oriented. One jewelry booth had charms of everything from celtic crosses to animals. “I’ve been making jewelry for nearly twenty years. I always have a good showing here at the craft fair,” said Mary-Anne from Washington, PA. There were cloth crafts like scarves, aprons, and sweaters. There were metal crafts like bottle openers and yard signs. There were wooden crafts like benches and barrels made into snowmen. There were a couple of vitamin and mineral sales booths. One vendor was selling light-up miniature stadiums, he had professional and college options. There were several vendors selling moonshine in a variety of flavors. There was fudge, beef jerky, and hard candy for sale. There was a toffee booth and a pastry booth, too. 


Outdoors there was a candied nut and kettle corn booth, they filled the air with an irresistible cinnamon scent. If you were very hungry the food court was open and selling hot and cold foods. You could grab a sausage sandwich, fries, or nachos and sit at the bench table to enjoy. 


And what would a holiday fair be without the big man himself? Santa was in the house and available for free photo ops. He was jolly and sweet and well-rested for the busy holiday season ahead. “Make sure to be good this year boys and girls,” Santa said with a big grin. If Santa wasn’t enough to get you in the holiday mood, the trolley from Arden Museum was running. For $3 you could hop on the trolley for a relaxing fall foliage-filled trek on a beautiful autumn day. There was fun for everyone.