One of the largest — and oldest — stops at the fast-growing local craft fair is the Kenai Arts & Crafts Fair, hosted by the Kenai Art Center since 1978 and held at Kenai Central High School. Local artisans and holiday shoppers alike will gather this Friday and Saturday, with the fair open from 10am to 5pm
Fair coordinator Vicky Stanford has been running the fair for three years. She said that more than 100 local vendors would be present at KCHS this year – “between 108 and 110”.
Vendors will fill much of the school, starting with the auditorium common areas at the entrance, then down the halls, into the gymnasium and even into the school cafeteria.
With so many vendors, the range of goods is plentiful and varied.
“Metalwork, art, beautiful signs, crochet work, jewelry, canvas art, woodwork,” Stanford said. “Just a bunch of things.”
Though the fair is a holiday event — with Christmas trees, ornaments, snowmen and a location for pictures with Santa on view during an early set-up session Wednesday, Stanford said there would be plenty for people to do, too, “and at the end.” to keep it at their home all year round.”
There are plenty of craft fairs for locals to attend — up to three a week this season — but Stanford said the Arts & Crafts Fair stands out from the crowd, claiming that because it’s been running for so long, it has a great one Setup and because they have such great providers.
When the show begins, Stanford said David Hartman Signs would be a popular booth, with lines of people waiting for him to hand-paint their names on the signs he sells.
Hartman said he’s been coming out to the show since the 1980s and that the Kenai Arts & Crafts Fair is one of his favorite shows because he’s local and sees so many familiar faces compared to larger shows in Anchorage.
Other booths Stanford pointed out were Barb Soderstrum’s, where she sells granite engraved with images of animals; Wheelhouse Designs, run by Desi and Elias Wheeler, who sell painted signs; and Barry Solie, a chainsaw carver whose work will likely be familiar to those who have been to the local craft fairs.
“Everyone has their own unique thing,” Stanford said.
The fair is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Music will be played and Santa will be present from 1pm to 3pm
Reach reporter Jake Dye at [email protected]