South craft show sees unexpected growth

PARKERSBURG – In two years the South Fall Craft Festival has grown from 75 vendors filling the National Guard Armory to 140 vendors filling the school’s three gyms and hallways with arts and crafts.

Maria Miller, head coach of the Parkersburg South High School Cheerleaders, said the show is a fundraiser for the school’s cheerleading program and it attracted a larger than expected crowd on Saturday for its second year.

“So far we’ve had about 800 people from the doors,” she said. “We have all kinds of crafts here, custom-made stitching, custom scarves, custom jewelry, Christmas crafts and other seasonal crafts.”

Miller said a few commercial vendors were on hand for the show as well.

Last year Miller said the size of the craft show caused organizers to seek a larger venue. She said the National Guard Armory, across Blizzard Drive from the high school, was not large enough so they moved the show to the school.

“We were able to fill all three gyms and had others in the hallways,” she said Saturday.

Joy Ann Buskirk and Lynda Hannus, who had her knitted scarves at the show, said they were impressed with how the show was organized.

“I love the fact that the cheerleaders have been around all day asking if we wanted anything or running to get get us anything we needed,” Buskirk said. “It has been awesome.”

Hannus said she was pleased with the number of attendees.

“It has been a steady flow all day,” she said. “I would also like to reiterate what (Buskirk) said about the cheerleaders. They have taken up the trash, give us free donuts, brought our lunch and showed where things were.

“It has been very well organized.”

Vicky Eddy, of Parkersburg, said the show was busy. She added her praise for the organization of the show.

“We had a very good crowd,” she said. “It was very well organized and the cheerleaders have been very helpful to the crafters.”

Cassandra Forshey said she was pleased with the show.

“I don’t go to a lot of craft shows,” she said. “But there was a good selection here. I was looking mostly at jewelry for gifts and hair bow for my daughter.”

Richelle Lucas said the South Fall Craft Festival was her second time selling her jewelry at a craft show.

“I saw something online that I was thought was pretty but I didn’t have the money to get it and I thought I could make it,” she said. “I got what I thought I needed to make it, studied the picture. It came together and it wasn’t that hard.”

Lucas said she began by making items for gifts in her family. From there she began to work on more intricate designs.

“As I worked on it more, each piece I made was harder to make than the one before,” she said. “Ever piece is harder but it’s fun and it’s also addicting.”