• Last modified 667 days ago (Sept. 26, 2019)


50th craft show beats weather

Staff writer

A quick, but heavy, morning rain shower that sent visitors scrambling for cover didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of thousands who showed up to enjoy Hillsboro’s 50th annual Arts and Crafts Show on Saturday.

Richard Stolk, who lives in the St. Louis area, made his second trip to the event on Saturday. One of the challenges one-day events face is the possibility of poor weather, he said.

“It takes the crowd down, but since it’s a one day show they’re not coming tomorrow,” he said.

Vendors were able to set up for the craft show the day before, which really helped, Stolk said.

“I spent over three hours setting up,” he said. “I’m glad I could do it the night before. I couldn’t do it in the morning because there wasn’t enough time.”

Stolk has been selling handmade windsocks and lawn flags across the country for 37 years as owner of Banners Plus, and was relieved that he was offering all-weather products.

“Most of it is outdoor fabric, so that’s not a big concern,” he said. “It’s just that people don’t like to buy wet things. I have everything packaged in plastic so I can still give them a dry one.”

Stolk said he sees fewer young artisans and craftspeople at the fairs he attends.

“We’re losing some of the talent we had, in that we’re not seeing a lot of young people starting up,” he said. “If you look around you’ll see a lot of grey hair.”

Online vending has decreased some participation at craft fairs, but Stolk said he prefers the personal touch from events like Hillsboro’s.

“I have too many things to keep track of, and I’m doing it all myself,” he said.

Last modified Sept. 26, 2019