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North Fort Myers communities hold craft shows

November 7, 2019
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

If you took a trip down U.S. 41 on Saturday and drove past the entrances of the numerous communities along that road, you may have noticed signs regarding crafts fairs taking place.

For those looking for a nice Christmas present for themselves or for a loved one, there were plenty of places from which to choose as no fewer than five communities held crafts fairs as a way to welcome seasonal residents back and provide residents from all over the opportunity to shop.

Parking proved to be a challenge. At 10:30, there were people parking nearly a block away from the clubhouse at Lake Fairways.

Article Photos

Some BB jewelry at the Del Tura crafts Fair on Saturday.


The bake sale, which had five full tables of goodies at 8 a.m., was down to one, while the nearly 50 vendors who brought their wares were reporting the best sales they've had at the event.

Billie McCarthy, chairperson for the fair, said this one was one of the most successful fairs in several years thanks, in part, to the other communities holding their fairs as well.

"People can go from community to community and they're not coming more than once during the season," said McCarthy, who had her own booth. "People come from Fort Myers, Cape Coral and Punta Gorda, and it's the first big event for the snowbirds.

At these events, people can get some unusual items. Tracey Gray had a booth at Lake Fairways that sold Blooming Plates, where she takes different kinds of plates and makes them into a flower.

"I saw it somewhere and made them for myself. My husband had a boat propeller and a hubcap and I put those together," Gray said. "This is great. It's the most people I've ever seen here."

Del Tura's 60 vendors were also happy as people parked in the overflow parking area. They also featured a bake sale for charity.

Janet Ragone, one of the residents, offered ceramics painted by community artists. The vivid colors and outside-the-box thinking and designs had them selling well.

"We all do this for fun. They're one-of-a-kind things by residents who do their own thing," Ragone said. "We buy all the paint and greenware and everyone takes it from there."

At Tara Woods, the peak traffic from early in the morning started to taper off a little. Their crafts fair is always put on by the Garden Club.

Carol Shields, treasurer for the Garden Club, said she had seen a steady stream of people come in and out to visit the 27 vendors, selling paintings and pottery.

"We have a lot of new ones. The pillow lady is new, along with the other five new ones. I don't know if this is the most successful fairs we've had, but it's one of the most," Shields said.

Lou Dunning, president of the Tara Woods Homeowners Association, said he enjoyed the fair so much, he and his wife came back for seconds.

"We were here at 9 a.m. My wife bought a bunch of stuff and we went home and she said 'But there's more,' So we're back a second time,'" Dunning said. "The Garden Club does such a great job with this."

At Heron's Glen, much of what they did was done for charity. Seven sororities in the community were represented, all doing something for charity.

Bonnie Bickel, president of Alpha Delta Alpha, was selling tickets for gift baskets to benefit Hearts & Homes for Veterans and for Littleton Elementary School.

"We have five baskets. We're a service organization who raises money for two causes. We support Littleton's Pre-K classes and supplies and Christmas for a couple families," Bickel said.

Heron's Glen held a bake sale to benefit Hope Hospice, and though lunchtime slowed things down, they picked up again for the home stretch.

"We've been packed all day. It's the most successful show we've had and it gets bigger and bigger every year," said Cindy Farley, chairperson for the crafts show, which had 47 vendors. "It's the time of year for holiday gifts and people come for that."

Candace Huetteman said she loved everything Heron's Glen had to offer.

"I think the fair is great. They have a lot to offer with jewelry and unique things like table-toppers that I bought made from pieces of pottery. It's really wonderful," Huetteman said.



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