• Last modified 1032 days ago (Sept. 23, 2021)


Thousands pack craft fairs

Staff writer

An estimated 35,000 packed downtown Hillsboro Saturday for this year’s Arts and Crafts Fair.

“I can only personally compare it to 2019, which was my first year as director,” Cait Hall said. “But crowd-wise I feel like it was just as big if not a bit bigger then 2019.”

About 11 officers from Hillsboro, Marion, and the sheriff’s department provided security for the event, Hillsboro police chief Dan Kinning said, adding the department did not have exact crowd size numbers.

The event drew 20% fewer vendors with 175 setting up booths along Main and Grand Sts. Organizers tried to recruit a mix of new businesses and old favorites this year, Hall said.

Barbara Elkins, owner of Granny’s Rugs, has been vendor at the art fair for nearly two decades.

She learned to crochet rag rugs from her mother and grandmother and has kept it up for 60 years.

The cotton and nylon rugs Elkins chain stitches with a jumbo crochet hook are as durable as her devotion to the craft.

“They last forever,” she said. “I’ve got one from my grandma that’s more than 90 years old. This one on the floor here is probably pushing that. It was worn-out clothes. That’s what rag rugs originally started from — from nothing.”

Last modified Sept. 23, 2021