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The art of crafting big crowds

Staff writer

A vast array of arts, vendors’ creations, home businesses, treats, ceramics, jellies, jams, holiday decor, apparel, blankets, gift items, quirky lawn ornaments, baby items, skin care products, nail treatments, and hand-made items to take home or just feast the eyes on was available at both Marion and Hillsboro last weekend.

Marion’s two-day Art in the Park brought a crowd of vendors selling home items such as Scentsy products, Avon, quilts, kitchen linens, and holiday decor of all sorts.

Amiee Henry of Wichita, who owns a house at the county lake, brought an assortment of freeze-dried candies, vegetables, and other treats.

Henry also sells her creations in Wichita. This was her first year at Art in the Park but she earlier had a tent at Chingawassa Days.

“The cool stuff we have in the city that we don’t have here, I’m trying to bring here,” she said.

She might partner with a local business to have some of her products on sale in Marion all the time.

Saturday’s cool and mostly overcast weather helped encourage people to come out, she said.

DC’s Juntiques, from South Coffeyville, Oklahoma, had a tent at Marion’s Central Park and another at Hillsboro’s Arts and Crafts Fair on Main St. Michael Haddox, who ran the Hillsboro tent, sold home and lawn decor made from metal parts, rocks, and the like.

Ants marching side by side at the end of his tent caught the eye of many shoppers. So did oversized metal drinking chickens that rocked on stands and repeatedly ducked their heads to the ground.

His mother and father came to the Hillsboro Arts and Crafts fair for 26 years, and he and his brother have come for several years as well.

“My brother is at Marion right now,” Haddox said.

If one brother runs out of a particular kind of item, the other brings a refill.

“It works,” Haddox said.

Hillsboro’s event takes up four blocks of Main St. and two blocks of Grand Ave. It brought 200 vendors, counting food vendors, and thousands of shoppers who crowded around tents so eagerly that it was hard to get close enough to see the wares. Many pulled wagons carrying merchandise, children, and even dogs.

Sisters Donna Tipton of Kansas City, Annie Clark of Moundridge, and Kim Buddy of Newton meet up at the Hillsboro fair every year.

“This is a tradition for us every year for her birthday,” Tipton said.

Clark, the birthday girl, gets three gifts from the fair each year.

Another set of sisters wore T-shirts that read: “What happens with the sisters stays with the sisters.”

Home business goods are not allowed at Hillsboro’s show. Vendors must apply in advance and submit photos of their products. A committee selects which vendors are approved.

Last modified Sept. 20, 2023

 

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