By: Deanna Rebro | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: September 2008
Laura Farris, chairman of the Broken Arrow Main Street Merchants Association’s annual Arts & Crafts Show, displays quilted handwork and jewelry items that will be available.
Need a birthday, wedding, holiday or baby gift? On September 20, you can shop for all your gift-giving needs in one convenient place – the Broken Arrow Main Street Merchants Association’s annual Arts & Crafts Show at the Broken Arrow Community Center, 1500 S. Main St. Admission is free.
Laura Farris, chairman of the event, says that approximately 65 vendors will offer everything from whimsical to serviceable items for you, your home or any gift you may need. “Some people come to the show and do their gift shopping for the whole year. And with the high cost of gasoline, why not?” she says.
Favorite items returning this year include quilting items, landscape timber designs, silk arrangements, and children’s personalized clothing and décor. Shoppers return year after year because they know specific vendors will be there with high-quality and often one-of-a-kind items. Some vendors even take orders for custom designs.
And there will literally be something for everyone – even those hard to buy for – at prices starting at 50 cents. Embellished clothing, purses, jewelry, fleece wear, cosmetics and bath products for the ladies will be on hand. Golf, fishing, lodge and other sports-theme items for men will also be available. You’ll find school logo items, sleeping bags, soy candles, gardening items, gourmet foods, and lots of home décor items such as paintings, pottery, wind chimes, floral arrangements and centerpieces.
The show will also feature the Tulsa Glue Dobbers, a club of radio-controlled airplane enthusiasts, and a model train exhibit, which is traveled in multiple states. In addition, downtown will feature sidewalk sales.
One thing you won’t see is duplicate vendor items. Although there may be more than one purse or jewelry artisan, each will have an entirely different line.
The Broken Arrow Community Center is air-conditioned and wheel chair accessible. There is an adjoining playground area for children while the adults enjoy shopping.
Blue Star Mothers will offer food and beverages for breakfast and lunch. The funds they raise provide postage to send packages to troops overseas.
There will be drawings throughout the day, 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., for both shoppers and participating artists and craftsmen. Prizes are provided by vendors and members of the Broken Arrow Main Street Merchants Association. “This is a community effort,” Laura says. “And we’re happy to have everyone here.”
Many vendors return year after year. In more than 15 years, they have seen Broken Arrow grow from a small town to a thriving city with more than 90,000 people. Yet the warmth, hospitality and appreciation are still there.
Laura and committee members Naomi Medlock and Teresa Fleming take everyone’s feedback into account. They handle even the smallest details that make both buying and selling at the show a pleasure.
Laura recalls a number of people who started selling at the Broken Arrow Arts & Crafts Show and later developed national and international businesses. Perhaps another one will be in the wings of this year’s show.
The Broken Arrow Main Street Merchants Association raises community awareness of the two-mile downtown Broken Arrow business district, between 71st and 91st Streets. They purchased three sets of banners for light posts on Main St. They also provide holiday lights to all merchants for their storefronts and support the Broken Arrow Historical Society and other charities.
Vendor space is still available for the Arts & Crafts Show. For more information, call Laura at (918) 251-1591, Naomi at (918) 251-7446 or Teresa at (918) 251-5371.
Plan to do all of your shopping at once on September 20, 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Broken Arrow Community Center.
Deanna Rebro has worked in the publishing industry 30+ years, including eight years writing for Value News. She has also worked in real estate for the past six years. Deanna graduated from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio with a B.A. in Journalism. Outside of work, she serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for Pet Adoption League. “Every story I write is a learning experience,” she said.