Arts and Crafts Fair marks 50 years
By Bob Ratterman
OXFORD — Hueston Woods Arts and Crafts Fair organizers are getting ready for the June 13-14 event and plan to make the Golden Anniversary celebration as special as they can for vendors, volunteers and visitors.
“It’s a rain or shine event, hopefully a shine or shine event,” coordinator Bob Carmean said with a smile.
The annual event is sponsored by the Oxford Museum Association and held on the grounds of the Pioneer Farm, 6924 Brown Road, on the edge of Hueston Woods, adjacent to the golf course.
Regional artists and crafters are welcome, and the annual event draws from a wide area.
There will be food available on the grounds, and Carmean said the event is a kid-friendly family activity. There will be children’s activities as well as some live animals, including alpacas and sheep.
Carmean said the Hueston Woods Arts and Crafts Fair is probably the longest running show in Southwest Ohio, even longer than SummerFair held at Coney Island every year.
“We looked and could not find one as long-running juried art show in Southwestern Ohio,” he said, explaining that the word “juried” means they select exhibitors from among applicants. “We ask each exhibitor for a description of their business and also for photos of their product and their display booth so we can gauge the quality and caliber of materials they produce. We do not accept molds or kits. We do not want people selling mass-manufactured products like Tupperware or party items.”
He said they look for vendors offering handmade items, which visitors have come to expect at the fair.
He said it is that attention to detail that has many people coming back every year to look over the offerings with an eye toward finding things they can use or even do some early holiday shopping.
While most exhibitors come from this region, they do get some from farther distances, including one from California, who is Chris Stousland, a former Oxford resident who returns for the show every year and uses the opportunity to have visits with family while here.
The Hueston Woods Arts and Crafts Fair was started 50 years ago shortly after the Oxford Museum Association was founded and, along with the October Apple Butter Festival, is a chief fundraiser for the organization which offers various educational programs throughout the year as well as maintaining several historic sites including the Pioneer Farm and Doty Homestead on the same property, Black Covered Bridge and DeWitt Homestead.
The large tent for area museums and historic sites to have a table and talk to visitors about themselves will return to this year’s event. It appeared last year for the first time and organizers thought it was appropriate to do again on the golden anniversary of the arts and crafts fair.
“We think it will introduce visitors to museums from our area visitors might want to visit so they plan other summer activities,” Carmean said.