Vineland Thanksgiving Arts and Crafts Shows
by Festival Nomad, Gary McWilliams
Arts and Crafts…
Who knew? Four arts and crafts shows on one long weekend, Thanksgiving, and all within a few miles of each other! It was too wonderful to pass. We found out about the Vineland Arts and Crafts Shows from our friends, Rolly and Nancy Hill of Hills Trading Post. Rolly and Nancy specialize in selling Teddy Bears (and more) that are stuffed at their booth! These 4 shows are not insignificant. All have close to a hundred vendors or more. The shows in question are the O’Shavings Country Craft Show, the Vineland Thanksgiving ARTfest, the Jordan Lions Arts and Crafts Show and the Ball's Falls Thanksgiving Festival Craft Show and Sale. We had only a limit amount of time, so we chose the first two shows, O’Shavings and ARTfest, to visit this year. Fortunately the trip through Toronto wasn’t too bad! In fact, for a long weekend it was downright great! We had left Cobourg fairly early, so our timing was perfect. The road from the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) to Vineland, however, was very busy. A long stream of traffic flowed from the “off” ramp to the town’s main intersection. The slowness of the traffic wasn’t helped by the “Boot Drive” being held by the local fire department. Everyone, however, seemed to the hold-up good naturedly as it was all for a good cause! Our next challenge was to find a parking spot. There was little parking on the main street, so we had to find something on one of the side roads. Fortunately many enterprising local residents were offering their front lawns (for a fee!) as parking. We turned down a promising side street and found a spot. We parked our car, paid the parking fee and started walking towards the shows. Our first stop was going to be the O’Shavings Show!
O’Shavings Country Craft Show…
We walked along Victoria Avenue until we can to several yard sales. We stopped to take a look at what they had to offer and then continued on. Finally we reached the O’Shavings’ grounds. This is where our friends, Nancy and Rolly Hill had their booth. We turned onto the property and followed the first aisle. There were all sorts of craft booths set up. One of the booths we came to had amazing metal crafted flower. They had been made to adorn gardens. As we walked up the path we saw everything from handmade wooden boxes to food booths and a lot in between! We finally reached Nancy and Rolly’s booth. They sell stuffed Teddy Bears and more. The stuffing is done at the booth well you watch. Nancy is certainly a “stuffing” pro! They were very busy at their booth, so we only stopped for a few moments. The Hills company is Hills Trading Post. We left the Hills and moved to the second aisle. Here we visited several interesting booths. There was a booth selling “Personalized Family Wreaths”. I thought they were very creative. Then there was “Designs in Elegance”. Here a lady sat busily working on her spinning wheel while she chatted to passing show visitors. We continued on our walk and came to another busy lady. She was sewing embellishments onto beautiful clothe handbags. We talked to her for a while and then explored her booth and merchandise. Judi loves purses and handbags! Eventually we made it to the O’Shavings exit and were back on the Victoria Avenue sidewalk. We followed it for short distance and then crossed the street to visit our next show.
NOTE: The O'Shavings Country Craft Show is owned and managed by Randy and Sue Mewhiney. They take great pride in their show and their community. As a matter of interest, they host a number of Organizations free of cost so they can fundraise for themselves, Agape Valley, Homefront Cancer Services, Vineland Volunteer Fire dept. and Blind Bowlers to name a few.
They have also provided assistance to over 30 Agencies or Individuals with extenuating circumstances since the show's inception.
Vineland Thanksgiving ARTfest…
This show was called the Vineland Thanksgiving ARTfest. In was being held at the Vineland Public School. There were several booths in front of the school, but the bulk of the booths were located at the back of the school. We squeezed through a small opening between buildings. I was surprised when we got to the back at how large the area was! The ARTfest was quite a large show with 130 plus vendors. With the grounds being so large, the booths were conveniently laid out. The first booths we came to were food vendors. It was lunch hour, so there were long line ups at all of the food booths. There were a variety of food booths, but the ones I liked were the “Kettle Popcorn” and the “Bloomin’ Onions”! We passed these booths and followed the natural traffic flow. There were a lot of interesting products to look at. One booth, DE Images was very interesting. They created stain glass products. I was most fascinated with their “Snowshoe” stained glass pieces! They were very imaginative! We followed the string of booths, exploring each one. Part way around the enclosure, we heard beautiful “Pan” music. Pan flutist Fernan Enriquez was performing in front of a small crowd. Moving further along we passed several other booths, including one that was offering “face painting” for kids. As we continued to investigate, we came to long time acquaintance, wildlife artist Andrew Hoag. I have known Andy for many years and have seen and admired his work at numerous fine art shows. The variety and quality of the show’s artists and crafters was excellent. Judi and I were enjoying ourselves very much! We left the back of the school and joined the crowd in front. Before we left, we decided to take a look at the booths in the front. It was here that we came across artist Margaret Poerner’s booth. Judi and I stopped to take a look and to talk with Margaret. Her images were well done and very interesting! It was now time to leave the Vineland Arts and Crafts Shows and head home. After all, we were scheduled to stop along the way! Our Thanksgiving turkey dinner was waiting for us!