By Kennedy Tavares
SUNY Plattsburgh’s Field House’s gym and indoor track was unrecognizable this past weekend as over 100 community vendors lined booths around the arena.
From home goods to sauces to alcohol, there was something for everyone at last weekend’s fair.
Each year the fair is developed by College Auxiliary Services, and it began as a way for local community members to showcase and sell their artistic works.
Community members enjoy the annual Arts and Crafts Fair for more than the sold goods, but to restore the importance of shopping locally.
Vanessa Staples, from Morrisville, has been selling her homemade hats and neck warmers for four years now.
“It’s better to have something locally made than to have something come from China,” Staples said. “People can buy something locally that they can be proud of. They can buy something and be proud to know it’s from the area and the money stays in the area.”
The Arts and Crafts Fair is more than a way for people to purchase goods and, for some, it’s about survival, according to Kara Karetser and Aubrey Buvage, local teens that attended the fair over the weekend.
“There are some people in the community that maybe this is their only income and they’re very passionate about what they do and if people put a lot of time into something that they love then it should be appreciated,” Karester said.
Buvage reflected on the benefits of a craft fair like this one.
“The Arts and Crafts Fair is a good way to bring the community together and promote shopping locally, and it affects us in a positive way,” Buvage said.
Allison Brown and Kerry Burdo, members of Delta Kappa Gamma, had a booth to promote philanthropic efforts. Brown and Burdo were selling handmade cards that were made by women educators.
Delta Kappa Gamma is a professional organization that stands for key women educators worldwide. All proceeds from the sales at the Arts and Crafts Fair would go to scholarships for future educators at SUNY Plattsburgh.
“We are thankful for the field house, they had some students help us set up. This is a fantastic venue and we really appreciate being able to be here,” Brown said.
Aissatou Lo, a student intern who had a helping hand in curating the event, was impressed with the overall outcome of the weekend.
“I think we did a good job this weekend, especially since we haven’t been able to host one in a few years. Over 3,500 people attended and we got positive feedback from vendors and the customers,” Lo said.