Winter Park Craft Fair helps extend the summer
August 8, 2008
What started out as the brain child of Jim and Connie Johnson to extend summer business in the Fraser Valley celebrates its 11th year of success as they get their “tents in a row” for the annual Winter Park Craft Fair Saturday and Sunday. The local Lions Club will be serving pancake breakfast both days.
The Johnsons, who moved to the area in 1972 and ran Continental Property Management with their son Wade and his wife Ronda, took it upon themselves to continue the event. They lent their hands in the construction of the rodeo grounds, and had helped at many of the rodeos, music festivals and Alpine ArtAffair.
After talking amongst themselves about another summer event in the area they could support that would be a good fit, they came up with the craft fair venture.
“It has become so popular, and we enjoy it,” Connie said. “So, we just keep doing it.”
Every year since its inception, the Craft Fair has grown, starting with 65 booths the first year to more than 100 in 2007. The show is attended by repeat vendors and regular loyal shoppers each year, becoming a community get-together each year and adding to the activity and revenue in the Fraser Valley during August.
“We try to make it something everyone wants to come back to each year,” Wade said.
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Wade and Ronda now live in Lakewood and Wade’s parents are retired in Corpus Christi, Texas, during the winter season and traveling around Colorado and the northern states in the summers.
“We all really enjoy coming up to see our old friends and meet new friends,” Wade said. Connie said since she and Jim are now traveling quite a bit, this is their “opportunity to see all the people here we call friends.”
Craft vendors signed up for this year’s showcase specialize in pottery, photography, soap making, woodworking, leatherworks, jewelry, beadwork, stoneware, glass, metal work, and fashion.
Local food and crafters are always welcome, and Wade pointed out the show “has always been one to assist first-time vendors and help them figure out how craft shows work.” This year about 85 vendors are signed up for the two-day weekend, with an estimated 45 who are veterans of the event. A couple spaces remain, and booth registrations will be taken up to 5 p.m. today.