By: Carol Beck-Round | Category: Special Interest | Issue: November 2007
Visitors to a previous Crazy for Crafts Fest shop for various handmade items.
For those who want to start their Christmas shopping early, Claremore Main Street’s Crazy for Crafts Fest is the place to visit. Held at Will Rogers Downs, visitors can “shop ‘til they drop” from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, November 2, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, November 3. Like Crazy for Crafts Fests held in the past, this year’s event will be fun for all.
Since beginning over 30 years ago, this annual shopping extravaganza has traditionally been held in conjunction with Claremore’s Will Rogers Days. According to Cindy Bissett, executive director of Claremore Main Street, Crazy for Crafts Fest has evolved over the years. “This year’s event will host approximately 80 booths,” she says. “The festival will also have a new location.”
Admission this year is $3 for adults, and children under age 12 will be admitted free of charge. There will be no fee for visitors to park at Will Rogers Downs, which is located three miles east of Claremore on Highway 20.
In addition to a new location and more vendors, this year’s event includes a partnership with Share the Spirit, a local holiday food drive started in 1987 by the Claremore Daily Progress. “Anyone who brings a nonperishable food item for Share the Spirit will be admitted to the craft show for only $1,” says Bissett. “We are excited about partnering this year’s show with the Share the Spirit campaign,” she adds. “It’s a good program, and we want to help.
“The annual arts and crafts show kicks off the holiday season and gets people in the mood,” says Bissett. “Between gifts and shopping, we should also be thinking of others. The timing of the festival coincides with the food drive to make sure everyone has a good holiday.”
Vickie Chaney, coordinator of the Crazy for Crafts Fest, is also excited about this year’s event. “We are really looking forward to this year’s show at the Will Rogers Downs,” says Chaney. “We have already received a large variety of applicants who offer spectacular arts and crafts, including handmade jewelry, candles, wooden furniture and Native American crafts. The show is a good time to pick up those one-of-a-kind gift and home décor items.”
Another hot item this year, according to Bissett, will be Christmas-themed crafts. Ornaments, lawn decorations, wreaths and unique Christmas collectibles will be available. “We have many local artists who will be participating, as well as crafters who are new to the show this year,” Bissett mentions.
Proceeds from Crazy for Crafts Fest will benefit Claremore Main Street, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the economic revitalization of downtown Claremore. The organization has a special interest in historic preservation. The City of Claremore was named an official Main Street community by the National Trust Main Street Center in 2002. Since that time, numerous improvements have been made to historic downtown Claremore. Aesthetic enhancements have been made, as well as marketing advances and economic revitalization.
“Our future plans include more streetscape projects in downtown Claremore,” Bissett says. “We will be adding benches and shrubbery, as well as more trash receptacles.”
Mark your calendars for November 2 and 3. Crazy for Crafts Fest will be fun for all. In addition to getting Christmas shopping out of the way, visitors will be supporting Claremore Main Street, Inc. and the development of the city.
After 30 years in public school education, Carol Round retired and moved from Grand Lake to Claremore, Oklahoma in 2005, where she writes a weekly faith-based column which runs in 14 Oklahoma newspapers as well as several national and international publications. Three volumes of her columns have been compiled into collections: A Matter of Faith, Faith Matters and by FAITH alone. She has also written Journaling with Jesus: How to Draw Closer to God and a companion workbook, The 40-Day Challenge. This past year she has written three children’s books, a series called Nana’s 3 Jars, to teach children about the value of giving, saving and spending money. All of Carol’s books are available through Amazon. In addition to writing her weekly column, authoring books and speaking to women’s groups, she writes for Value News. She also blogs regularly at www.carolaround.com. When she is not writing or speaking, she loves spending time with her three grandchildren, working in her flowerbeds, shooting photos, volunteering at her church or going on mission trips overseas, and hiking. She is also an avid reader and loves working crosswords and trying to solve Sudoku puzzles.