A school gym is filled with chatter and laughter on an unsually warm December afternoon. Residents of the community have come out to find some handmade treasures and gifts to take home.
Shorewood High School’s 33rd Annual Arts & Crafts Fair took place on Sunday in the gym and arena areas. Artists and crafters reported that sales were going well at the show, with a steady flow of shoppers throughout the morning.
According to the school district website, there were more than 120 artists at the show. Some were veterans of the craft fair, and some were new to the scene.
“We’ve been here for four of five years now … it’s a great event,” said Jackie Chesser, event vendor and owner of Oakland Avenue’s Goody Gourmet’s shop located in Shorewood.
Chesser had a booth of specialty popcorn set up at the fair. Her booth was a sampling of the gourmet popcorn her shop offers. Goody Gourmet’s also sells other handmade confections.
“The people here are very supportive,” added Chesser.
The arts and crafts fair had booths offering a number of different items such as food, jewelry and gift items.
The fair was sponsored by the Athletic Booster Club. There was a $4 admission charge to get into the event, and the admission cost went to support Shorewood athletics. According to the school district website, money raised at the event in the past has gone toward things such as new SHS uniforms and playground equipment at grade schools.
"People here are wonderful,” said artist Steve Weigl, participating in the fair for the first time.
Weigl is a graduate of MIAD. He started creating non-traditional stuffed animals called Plushzillas about five years ago. His creatures are all personally handmade and feature unique details such as a mustache or a monocle.
“They’re so classy … I like them,” said Weigl.
Ken and Kathy Walter of Walters’ Lites Bright were also first-time crafters at this year’s fair.
“I think the people here are really nice … really friendly,” said Kathy.
The couple creates decorations of out lights and empty liquor bottles. They had a variety of products, including specialty bottles they had done for wedding anniversaries, and team-themed Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badgers bottles.
“The Badger bottles sold right away,” said Kathy.
Kathy also noted that she appreciated how well the event was organized, and how helpful the students of the school are.
The event also included raffle baskets, and a silent auction with items from some of the artists and crafters.