Lititz crafters among the 700 vendors at Rotary’s big show

By on August 17, 2017

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By Dick Wanner

 

Some 700 vendors and thousands of buyers crowded into downtown Lititz and the Lititz Springs Park on Saturday for the annual Rotary Club of Lititz Craft Show. There were tiny little earrings on display, handmade clothing of all descriptions, handcrafted furniture, bright and shiny things for kids, plant hooks you won’t find in your local hardware store, and…on and on.

It’s hard to say how much visitors spent at the fair, but we’ll take a crazy wild guess and say that if the average vendor sold from $250 to $500 worth of stuff for the day, gross sales would have topped a quarter million dollars. Or maybe a lot more. Probably not much less or the 700 vendors wouldn’t be hauling their inventory and tents to Lititz for a one-day show.

We’re going to guess that Sara Heavener didn’t hit the $500 mark with the Duck tape wallets, pouches, purses, and bookmarks she had on display on East Main Street. Heavener, the daughter of Shannon and Fred Heavener, will be a junior at Warwick High School later his month. About five years ago, she learned how to make wallets out of Duck brand duct tape, and never learned how to stop. So she built up quite an inventory, and figured the craft fair would be a good place to pick up some cash and make room for more Duck tape projects.

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The Moravian Manor woodshop crew could have hit $500 with the sale of a couple of $250 cutting boards. It was the first year for the Manor craftsmen at the fair, explained Dale Matt, and they weren’t quite sure how to price their goods. Matt was joined at the fair by his fellow woodworkers &tstr; and Manor residents &tstr; John Mitchell, Mark Hershman, Tom Whitworth, and Bob Key.

They make things out of walnut, maple, oak, and cherry wood, and there were quite a few trivets fashioned from wine corks. Matt explained that proceeds from sales at the craft show will be used to fund more woodshop projects, and noted that Moravian Manor is in the process of preparing a new woodworking shop.

Cory Hess has a sawmill &tstr; a big sawmill &tstr; in Lititz, and turns big logs into big slabs of lumber that are perfect for one-of-a-kind projects. Hess sold a slab of spalted maple at the show. It came from a big maple tree Hess had cut down some time ago and left in the woods for a couple of years. In that time, fungi invaded the tree’s interior, producing dark lines as they progressed through the wood, a phenomenon known as spalting.

If the tree is left on the ground for too long, spalting will eventually turn to plain rot. Hess brought his tree into the mill and cut it into boards before the spalting process had weakened the lumber.

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As we strolled through Main and Broad Streets, we spotted other craftsmen from Lititz and surrounding towns as well as throughout Lancaster County. If you missed your chance at that unique crafted item this year, there’s always next August. If you’re a vendor and didn’t get into the show this year, there’s a waiting list.

“We were really blessed with the weather this year. We estimate that we had as many as 40,000 visitors,” said Tom Oehme, Lititz Rotary Club president and craft show chairman. “We’d like to thank all of the people and groups in our community who helped make this happen &tstr; the Lititz Police Department; the Fire Company, and many others. And we’d like to remind everyone that all of the profits from this event are reinvested to worthy community organizations who work tirelessly to make Lititz not just the coolest, but the most welcoming, small town in America.”

Dick Wanner is a staff writer and photographer, and former editor-in-chief (1972-75), for the Record Express. He welcomes reader feedback at rwanner.eph@lnpnews.com.

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2 Comments

  1. Hunter Birch

    August 17, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    I am wondering how much it costs to rent the vendor spaces.

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