Planners ready for 45th art fair

Penni SchroderPlans are coming together to make the Hills?boro Arts & Crafts Fair on Saturday another success in this its 45th year.

?It?s coming together well,? said Penni Schroeder, fair director. ?We have 304 exhibitors. We haven?t counted lately, but I?m sure there?s more than 50 new ones.?

Schroeder said exhibitors will be coming from about 20 states. Many are from neighboring states, but some are coming from as far away as California, Illinois and Iowa.

She credits word of mouth for attracting exhibitors from long distances.

?Every vendor that wants to get in says, ?Oh, I?ve heard the best about Hillsboro fairs?I really want to get in,?? Schroeder said.

The 40,000-some shoppers likely to attend this year?s fair can expect to see many of their favorite products returning.

On the craft side, Schroeder said ?a lot of jewelry,? plus children?s items, soaps and lotions, wood crafts and items for pets will be among the most popular handcrafted products.

Among the exhibitors who focus on edible items, mustard, salsa, honey, soup mixes and dip mixes likely will draw the most attention.

Schroeder expects 28 local food vendors this year.

She said one popular food vendor, Chow Hound, won?t be returning to the fair?which could be good news for local providers.

?If they?re an outside group, they?re supposed to be run by someone local, and the majority of the proceeds are to go to local groups?and that wasn?t happening,? Schroeder said.

?So I?m thinking the other food vendors will probably do better, because that was a pretty big trailer with a long line a lot of times.?

Two new food vendors include the Jaywalkers from Lehigh, selling tacos in a bag, and Siebert Sweets, selling cotton candy.

She said several additional vendors will be selling bierrocks this year.

?It seems like that always sells out, so that?s good,? Schroeder said.

Toward the end of last week, Schroeder said most of the many local volunteers had been recruited.

?I think we?re kind of on the edge of getting all the volunteers we need, but there are always a few little spots that need to be filled,? she said.

?We couldn?t do it without the volunteers.?

The fair is open officially from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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