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A weekend for crafts in North Fort Myers

November 6, 2018
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

The first weekend of November in North Fort Myers not only signals the start of "snowbird season," but also the time when many of the 55-plus communities hold their annual arts and crafts shows.

It has become a tradition for these communities to hold these shows all at the same time. It has become something area residents have looked forward to every year.

Hundreds of art and craft aficionados made their way down U.S. 41 to Herons Glen, Del Tura, Lake Fairways, Tara Woods (not to mention the crafts show happening at the civic center at the same time).

Article Photos

Rebecca Murray shows off her tatted jewelry at the Arts and Crafts show at Lakes Fairways on Saturday.


Herons Glen was the biggest, with nearly 50 vendors and hundreds of customers who saw their wares sell like hotcakes, with proceeds from vendor fees going to Hope Hospice.

Cindy Farley, event chairperson for the last 16 years, said the event started as an arts and crafts show before just becoming a crafts show.

"We have our own arts show in March. We have a few artists but not many," Farley said. "They are all handmade by the people themselves. We have different vendors this year with different things to sell."

Holiday items and jewelry were hot items, as was honey.

Shirley Schmidt and her husband, Edward, were selling honey, only to see it sell out within an hour. Edward made sure to make a list of people who wanted honey so he could send it to them.

"Local honey sells very well. We've been here five years and we sold out each time. I made a mistake last year of selling all my honey and didn't have any left for others," Edward said as he jotted another name down. "That got me in trouble last year, so I only brought about 40 pounds of it this year."

Shirley instead was selling artistic apple gourds that she grew and made in Michigan. She brought 26 and more than half had sold.

Lynn Suhr organized the Lake Fairways show, which has gone on for years after a few crafters wanted to show their work and grew from there.

"We've had a couple hundred people come through here. I don't know how all these shows happened on the same day. I think it's all just a sign of fall and people think just before the holidays is the time to do it," Suhr said. "It's one-stop shopping."

Linda Lindquist, a Lake Fairways resident and a member of the Women's Club at the community, was doing some shopping.

"I've bought a plant, some banana bread and I'm about to buy some jewelry. Then I'm going to have coffee with my mom at Pine Lakes," Lindquist said. "I may do some later."

Carol Shields, a member of the Garden Club at Tara Woods, helped to organize the show there. She said there was a steady crowd of people coming through as well, either buying crafts or taking advantage of the low-priced lunch.

"People selling lunch are doing good, the bake sale is doing good, the vendors are happy and selling," Shields said. "I think having all these shows helps us because everyone is in a crafty mood and you see all the same people from the other shows."



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