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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Big crowd fills Essex United Church for annual craft fair

by Kyle Reid

Hundreds of shoppers got a head start on their holiday shopping over the weekend as the Essex District Christmas Craft Show was held at Essex United Church over the weekend.

The annual craft show, now in its fifth year, featured a variety of handmade, homemade, and crafty goods of every description. Thirty-four vendors filled the church halls for another yearly bazaar, delighting organizer Doug Rounding.

“Every year it gets busier and busier,” Rounding said.

Admission to the two-day craft show was rather inexpensive; a simple donation of a non-perishable item in support of the Essex Area Food Bank. The craft show also featured a raffle and some tasty food items for sale in the church canteen to raise funds for Essex United Church.

Rounding said the annual event is a great display of a close-knit community. The show has actually been running for quite some time, originally at Essex District High School, but has been operated in the church basement for the past few years.

The fair gives local vendors a chance to hawk their fine handmade wares, Rounding said. It’s turned the event into quite a popular affair with participation from local crafty artisans, and some even from as far as Burlington.         

“I always end up having to turn away a few vendors, unfortunately,” Rounding said, proudly noting that almost every item at the fair had been handmade.  

And while the craft show is small by some standards, it is entirely volunteer-run and takes a tremendous amount of effort to organize. Rounding said it takes an effort of some 20 volunteers to pull off set-up and running of the show, including operating the canteen.

“We have a great group and a nice swing to it,” Rounding said. “We’ve had a great turnout and it gives people a great reason to come to town.”

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