Gettin’ Crafty

By on August 15, 2018

“We had to make some adjustments because the park was too wet,” said Tom Oehme, who has been coordinating the Lititz Rotary Club’s Craft Show for 38 of its 39 years.

Those changes involved moving the vendors who were supposed to be in the Lititz Springs Park to locations on South Broad Street up to Lemon Street, as well as East Main Street all the way to Oak Street.

“I think everyone is understanding of the changes we had to make,” Oehme said. As a result, traveling from one end of the craft show to the other turned out to be quite a workout. It was warm and muggy, but the rain held off, with just a light drizzle in the morning. Barbara Arnold and Julie Kubik of Coplay, PA, had brought along their umbrellas in case of rain. They found a better use for them, as they warded off the hot sun sitting at the Johannes Mueller House on East Main Street.

These ladies who came from Bucks County, Pennsylvania to attend the show took their shopping very seriously.

“This is my second time here,” said Arnold. “I was here 20 years ago and it is so much bigger now. We had to sit down and rest a bit.”

Fortunately for those making the trek from Lemon to Lincoln, then from Broad to Oak Street on East Main, there was plenty of ice cold water available. Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts on East Main Street sold much-needed water for $1 a bottle. The Youth Soccer players sold water on North Broad and at various locations on East Main Street, the Warwick Ambulance and Warwick Marching Band sold water and refreshing beverages. The vendors who had been moved from Lititz Springs Park had mixed reviews on being in their new locations. James Dupree of Raleigh, NC, has been a vendor at the show for 25 years and enjoyed his spot in the park. He was moved to the east end of East Main Street.

Everything from birdhouses to doll clothes, children’s toys to pet items, wooden tables to candles, jewelry to flower pots, soaps to baskets were for sale during the 39th annual Lititz Rotary Craft Show.

“It’s not a bad location, but I think that people may not want to carry things around,” said Dupree, who sells recycled bottle bird feeders and glass objects. For Greg and Ann Heffner of Ephrata, it was their third time at the Lititz Craft Show. They had been moved from the park to East Main near Oak Street. They make 3D printed toys and soft toys and reported that they were having brisk sales.

“The only down side is that we usually set up the night before, but we had to wait until morning because we are on the street,” said Greg Heffner. “We are doing better than ever.” Theresa Degideo of Valley Forge was having “excellent” sales of her waterproof bibs and family fun pillowcases. It was her first time at the event and she hopes to return again next year.

“I am at the very end of the craft show and sales couldn’t be better,” said Degideo.
There were more than 700 vendors at the Lititz Craft Show, selling everything from birdhouses to doll clothes, children’s toys to pet items, wooden tables to candles, jewelry to flower pots, soaps to baskets. 

 

“My wife is over there buying some thingamajigs. Not sure what they are and what they are for, but she’s having fun,” said Art Lovett of Cherry Hill, NJ. The “thingamajigs” were hummingbird feeders made from colored glass wine bottles, and they were very popular. There were also “whatchamacallits” like bird feeders made from large gourds and “whirlagigs” made from recycled spoons and forks.

“It’s amazing to see all the stuff at the craft show,” said Oehme, adding that it wasn’t always sure exactly what it was for or what it did. No matter. The Lititz Rotary Club’s Craft Show was started in 1979, and now attracts some 50,000 craft-lovers. Funds raised from vendor fees total between $50,000 and $100,000 each year. The money goes right back into the community, with generous donations to fire companies, charities, the recCenter, Boy Scouts, Little League, Girl Scouts, ambulances, police departments and many more organizations.

Laura Knowles is a freelance feature writer and regular contributor to the pages of the Record Express. She welcomes feedback and story tips at lknowles21@gmail.com. 

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