More vendors, bigger space and a donation drive are a couple things patrons can expect to see this year at the annual Fall Craft and Gift Fair. It will be held 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 24 at Bald Eagle Area High School and will include nearly 200 vendors specializing in knitted items; baked goods; metal and woodworking crafts; national vendors, such as Mary Kay; and more.
Planning began before the school year even started -- organized nearly entirely by student members of the Spanish Club lead by President Miranda Yeager, a senior. This is the 11th year the event has been organized by members of Spanish Club.
Teacher and Spanish Club adviser Andrea Simpson said the mission is to hold the event to help benefit Spanish Club, while giving the public a nice place to shop for unique gifts before the holidays.
“Our (students) are incredible and we hear that from vendors year after year,” Simpson said. “They plan for months and do a lot of the leg work and offer loading and unloading for vendors. It’s truly a door-to-door service.”
A new feature introduced last year included a canned food drive, which helped benefit local food banks. Before the fair last year, 873 items were collected; more came in during the event. The drive will be back again this year, starting with a classroom competition from Nov. 1 to Thanksgiving. The first-period class that collects the most items will win a cookie and milk party.
Patrons are encouraged this year to also bring in nonperishable items during the craft fair. Those who donate will get a free raffle ticket for the auction.
The event also annually helps benefit the Spanish Club from dues paid by vendors. There are already 186 vendors signed up to attend the event and more than $4,500 has already been raised, Simpson said. Students who work at the event may claim a chunk of money to put into an account to put toward Spanish Club merchandise or toward a club trip to Pittsburgh in April.
*Photo provided by the Centre Daily Times