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Weekend of arts, crafts at Stage West

Festival organizers want the Stage West Community Playhouse Arts and Crafts Fair to be the first big event of fall.

© St. Petersburg Times
published October 4, 2002

If you're looking for something like cucumber-scented soap with no preservatives or harsh chemicals, head for the second-annual Stage West Community Playhouse Arts and Crafts Fair in the Stage West parking lot Saturday and Sunday.

"We have 35 vendors coming, with all kinds of things for sale," said Alice Hughes, the immediate past secretary of the Stage West Board and festival co-chair with her husband, Bill. "It's a nice variety of things.

That includes jewelry artists, woodcrafters, a decorated T-shirt seller, and at least three painters, she said.

And, of course, the handmade soap vendor.

"We have one vendor selling wreaths and another with suncatchers," she said. Spring Hill La Sertoma (the women's auxiliary of Sertoma) will sell crafts, with proceeds going to the hearing impaired.

A food vendor will offer sausages and peppers, hamburgers, hot dogs and cold drinks. The 4-H Clubs will sell fresh lemonade.

Spring Hill Fire and Rescue is bringing its "smoke house" demonstration vehicle to teach people how to escape from a smoke-filled building.

"They lead you into what looks like a living room and fill it will non-toxic imitation smoke," Ms. Hughes said. "It's like a gray fog, and you have to figure how to get out. The kids love to climb out of the back window, but the adults go for the doors. "

The festival will raise money for scholarships that Stage West gives to students studying anything in the arts, Ms. Hughes said. Last year, the theater gave out three college scholarships, one completely paid for by the arts and crafts festival.

"The vendors keep what they make," she said. "We only keep what we charge" for the booth area. "And we don't charge the nonprofits anything."

This year's festival has more than three times as many booths as last year's inaugural effort.

"We want this to become an annual event the first weekend of every October," Ms. Hughes said.

At a glance

WHAT: Stage West Community Playhouse Arts and Crafts Fair

WHERE: Stage West parking lot, 8390 Forest Oaks Blvd., Spring Hill

WHEN: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

TICKETS: Admission free

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