Arts, crafts come to Harbor Country
Published 11:41 am Friday, May 23, 2014
NEW BUFFALO — As a sure sign of spring’s return to southwest Michigan, the arts and crafts show season has begun again, and this weekend, it will be New Buffalo’s turn to welcome a wide variety of local and regional artists, crafters and shoppers.
Hosted by St. John United Church of Christ, 200 W. Buffalo St., this will be the fifth year for the Harbor Country Arts and Crafts Show.
“I remember the first year. We thought we would go ahead with the show if we had 12 vendors,” recalled Pam Oselka, who is chairing the organizing committee for the fifth year. “We had many more, and we have grown each year to our expected number of nearly 70. Each year we have many who return and many new artists. The show is always different.”
This year, the historic church will open its doors to shoppers from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on May 24. Admission to the show is free, and many vendors will be set up outside the church as well.
“Part of the show will be a street fair. The city closes the street for us, and there are about 18 spaces in Barker St.,” Oselka said. “We’re located just two blocks west of the town’s only stoplight. We get a lot of foot traffic because of our location.”
Oselka is excited by the number and variety of artists and crafters who have already signed up to be vendors.
“I’m really pleased with what I see coming in this year,” Oselka said. “There will be beautiful arts and crafts—really different things this year. We have a whole assortment of crafters who’ve been here before as well as new ones.”
Oselka anticipates that, as in past years, hundreds of shoppers will visit the fair this year.
“I think all ages would enjoy coming to the show. We have quite a wide variety of crafters coming—things for babies, children, adults,” Oselka said. “Everybody always enjoys the variety of vendors. Some of the more popular ones are the hand-painted water colors, the things for infants and children, and the garden art from Beautiful Butterflies and Buddies.”
If shoppers should work up an appetite, the church will have a snack bar where visitors can purchase snacks and lunch items. Proceeds from the food sales will benefit the church’s general fund.
Organizers have also added several new elements to this year’s arts and craft show, and those, too, will benefit the church, as well as helping church members to continue performing charitable acts in the community.
“We have some new things planned. Someone will be doing spinal assessments, there will be chair massages, and we’ll have a quilt raffle from a well-known quilter based California,” Oselka said.
“Proceeds from the spinal assessments will go into a special fund, our ‘Good Neighbor Fund,’ that helps people with financial needs that are not met by other services,” Oselka said. “For example, we recently helped to pay the rent for a woman with five children. We also use it to help people who have run out of gas and other things like that.”
More information about the show can be found at www.stjohnartsandcraftsshow.weebly.com, and crafters who are interested in participating can call Pam Oselka at (734) 277-3180.
“There may be some spaces still available. We have about 70 spaces, and we’re getting close to full, but if people are interested, they should give me a call,” Oselka said.