Black Friday shopping didn't stop some residents from attending two holiday craft shows over the weekend in Buckhannon.
Organizers of both the annual Christmas Craft Show and the Middle School Craft Show said it was not unusual to see thousands of guests browsing the shows throughout the weekend.
The Christmas Craft Show took place in the National Guard Armory and celebrated 30 years this holiday season. The show was originally housed in a church fellowship hall.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Melissa Toothman
Nancy Binegar of Newport, Ohio, purchases crafts from Tom and Susan Bell of Morgantown at the Christmas Craft Show held over the weekend at the National Guard Armory in Buckhannon.
Pam Wilson, both a continued and founding organizer of the craft show, said this year's show hosted about 80 craftspersons from around West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Maryland and Virginia.
Crafters participating in the show were juried in to ensure quality. Canned food donations for Crosslines were accepted at the door in lieu of an entry fee.
"It's nice meeting all the people and bringing the event to Upshur County," Wilson said. "It benefits the county and, of course, all the crafters."
The Middle School Craft Show took place in the gymnasium of Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School, although the birthplace of the craftshow was Tennerton Elementary School. The craft show celebrates 24 years of promoting local crafters. Half of the proceeds from the show benefit the Parent Teacher Organization. About 78 local crafters were able to participate this year.
"We wanted it to be an outlet for local crafters," said Donna Bailey, an organizer in charge of the show. "It means a lot for me to sponsor something that helps local crafters, vendors and the school."
Crafters from both shows generously donated items for door prizes that were awarded throughout the weekend. Crafters from the Middle School Craft Show donated items to the Girl Scout Christmas tree to be given as door prizes. Crafters from the Christmas Craft Show donated items that were awarded as door prizes every 15 minutes. Crafters also had to bring enough of their wares to last them the entire weekend with thousands of people browsing both shows.
One crafter at the Christmas Craft Show was also a former organizer of the show.
LaVonne Stump, a crafter of 30 or more years, was selling custom soaps, jewelry and more.
"It's fun. It's a nice little side hobby," Stump said, adding that she makes crafts at night and on the weekends in addition to her full-time job.
One new guest said she definitely plans to come again.
"It's really nice," Cynthia Fink of Barrackville said on her first time attending the Christmas Craft Show. "(The show has) a really nice variety of crafters here, variety of people, and I'll come again."
Some guests traveled between both craft shows. Other guests have made one or both shows an annual tradition.
"I just love the craft show. I've been coming here for years," Linda Little of Elkins said about the Middle School Craft Show. Little said she attends the show with friends and family. "We just have a holiday amongst ourselves."
Some crafters were returning to the show from past years. John Pennington, a wood carver from Whitmore, participated in the Middle School Craft Show for his fifth year. He was working with wood onsite.
"I always liked to fool with wood," Pennington said.
Although the weekend has passed and both craft shows have concluded, anyone still interested in attending a craft show will have the opportunity to visit the Jennings Randolph Elementary Holly-Day Craft and Gift Show from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 8 on Scott Ford Road in Elkins.
Contact Melissa Toothman by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.