Photo by Claire Whitley.
A few months, a year, even a few years can pass, but when vendors and shoppers see each other at the Kingman Cancer Care Unit’s 42nd annual craft fair, time won’t matter. They are old friends, and new, with handmade crafts and art for sale. More time tends to be spent catching up with old friends, though, than hawking wares.
The craft fair is a community event, emphasis on community. People are given a chance to talk to those they haven’t seen since last year, or even longer.
“It’s always been a tradition,” said Janet Watson, president of KCCU. “We try to carry on that tradition.”
The annual Kingman Cancer Care Unit Arts and Crafts fair occurs the second weekend in November every year. It is the largest fundraiser for Kingman Cancer Care Unit and the largest craft fair n the region.
The fair brings over 100 vendors from across Arizona and several other states with a wonderful variety of original arts and crafts, including quilts, candles, soap, floral arrangements, holiday decorations, woodworking, jewelry, gift items and food. KCCU board member Noreen Welton said there will be a fry bread vendor this year, after a few years of absence.
The arts and crafts fair will be 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Sunday at the Mohave County Fairgrounds, 2600 Fairgrounds Blvd. Entrance is free to the public, but the fairgrounds will charge $3 for parking.
Watson said there is also a continuous raffle with about 200 prizes for attendees to win. Claire Crum, who has been in charge of publicity for the craft fair, said the grand prize is $500 in cash.
“Everything has been donated by people in the community,” Crum said. “Some people come back every year to donate things.”
Watson said this is the only fundraiser KCCU does for itself. The vendors pay a fee for the booth space, which goes to KCCU. Watson said KCCU uses some of the funds for their minimal operating expenses, but the remainder goes toward patients in Kingman KCCU helps.
“There are very few people whose lives haven’t been affected by cancer,” Crum said. “This is our chance to give back … we are there for them.”
Arts and crafts fairs are unlike anything else. The booths with all kinds of homemade items from pottery to jewelry to embroidered pillows make up quite the menagerie. The smell of fry bread and food booths, the sounds of vendors and visitors all make up the distinct environment of a craft fair and its community. Welton described the feeling as “homey” and “comfortable.”
“Once you go there, you’ll see why it’s so hard to describe,” Watson said.
Watson said any first-time, craft-fair goers should walk through the whole fair, noting which booths have something of interest and then returning to them later.
Watson said the craft fair is possible through the support of the community as well as Crum, Welton andKCCU treasurer Phyllis Eaton, all of whom are volunteers. Crum said KCCU is always welcoming new members, and “new blood” is the most wonderful thing for the organization.
Watson said she hopes the community will come out this weekend to enjoy the nice weather.
“I invite everybody to come and have a good time,” Watson said.