Warren Arts and Crafts Fair packs in crafts, buyers

Photo by Jeffrey Saulton Knitting one of her creations at the 39th annual Warren High School Band Boosters’ Arts and Crafts Fair was Teresa Ullman.

VINCENT, Ohio — For almost four decades the Warren High School gymnasium, small gymnasium and hallways have been packed with arts and crafts from area artisans at the annual band boosters’ arts and crafts fair and those eager to purchase their goods.

Courtney Clark, director of the Warren High School band, said the 2017 edition had one of the highest number of vendors in recent years.

“We had more than 130 vendors this year, we are filled to capacity,” he said. “Every once in a while we’ll have a few booths that are empty, but this year we have an active waiting list of nearly 20 vendors waiting to get in.

“We are packed this year, it’s been a great year.”

Clark said the event brings in about 30 percent of the budget.

Photo by Jeffrey Saulton Rebekah Grose, of Vincent, sets up her display of the Flip-Flop Blocks at the Warren High School Band Boosters’ Arts and Crafts Fair.

“We get it all in one day,” he said. “Of course the preparation and planning goes beyond that one day.”

Travel and buying and repairing band instruments are among the items the proceeds from the fair covers, Clark said, adding they are also able to purchase new music and other items for the entire program. Beyond the marching band, that also includes the middle school instrumental music programs and ensembles and the concert band at the high school.

Clark is in his eighth year as director and was part of the band when he was a student at Warren High School, graduating in 1998. He said the instrumental music program has 85 students at the high school and 120 at the middle school.

Clark added there are now two art fairs to benefit the band program with the first spring fair . He said there will be a second spring event in 2018 on April 7

Whipple resident Amy Biehl said she attends the craft fair almost yearly and she takes care of a big piece of an annual job in Vincent.

Photo by Jeffrey Saulton Becca Starcher, of Parkersburg, makes one of her ornaments. All proceeds from the sales of the ornaments go to Relay for Life, she said.

“I’m here for Christmas gifts,” she said. “My girls like the ornaments because they are personal. They get them from their great grandma who gives them every year.”

Nena Moore, of Coolville, said she comes to the craft fair to get away from the everyday.

“I’m here to get away from the family,” she said. “I’m looking at the crafts and getting ideas.”

Moore said she may go to other craft fairs between now and Christmas or she may try her hand at some of the crafts she sees at the Warren event.

Carla Dugan, of Parkersburg, said a trip to the craft fair is something she looks forward to every year.

Photo by Jeffrey Saulton Lisa Whitehair, of Mineral Wells, makes one of the doorhangers she has been making for 10 years and selling at the Warren High School Band Boosters’ Arts and Crafts Fair.

“I enjoy seeing people I haven’t seen in a long time and looking at all the crafts,” she said. “This is just as busy as it was last year. There are a lot of people here; it’s a big draw.”

Becca Starcher, of Parkersburg, makes the ornaments the Biehl sisters look at each year.

“All of these are made for Relay for Life,” she said. “I’ve been doing this for the past 15 years for Relay, my brother-in-law taught me how to make them and it’s one of our biggest money-makers for our team.”

Starcher is involved in Relay as a melanoma survivor. She makes five ornaments each day.

“So far, I’ve made 300 for the year,” she said.

Photo by Jeffrey Saulton Alayna Biehl, left, and Alyssa Biehl, right, look over the hand-made Christmas ornament creations by Becca Starcher at the Warren High School Band Boosters’ Arts and Crafts Fair on Saturday.

Rebekah Grose was a first-time vendor at Saturday’s event with what she calls Flip-Flop Blocks. The blocks are painted with words for various seasons and can be reversed and interchanged as desired.

“I’ve been making these for three years,” she said. “I made them for myself and my sister liked them and then the family she baby-sat for liked them, so it just went from there.”

While it was her first year as a vendor, Grose was acquainted with the fair.

“I’ve been here may times as a customer and I graduated from Warren High School,” she said.