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Lions Craft Fair

If you plan an event in December, then chances are you are going to have some weather issues. Tony recaps the Lions Craft fair weather.

Lions Club Arts & Crafts Recap

Every year the SE Huntington and Lesage Lions clubs band together to put on a holiday craft fair. They have been at it since the days on Jimmy Carter and the Bicentennial, for 33 years to be exact!

A perennial powerhouse in the battle against blindness, the Lions work tirelessly every year to ensure a good show. And they depend on you and me to support the show. Said Lion Dave Vititoe of the Milton club, “we enjoy working this show. People are nice and looking for bargains”.

If you have never attended, think of the fair as a celebration of winter and the Holiday season with local craftspeople the stars.

Need a new quilt, some unusual Christmas gifts or cards? Then you have come to the right place if you walk thru the Big Sandy Superstore doors.

“I specialize in things you don’t expect”, starving artist Michael Rosenberg of Proctorville told me. At his booth I noticed a portrait of a “bad hair day” for a bird, and an “I Love you banana”. Neat stuff, really!

At the Coalition for the Homeless Booth that I worked for a few hours, neat pins attracted some serious Christmas shoppers. And there was a bonus for all shoppers; namely, a free Key to your house trinket for Santa to use on Christmas eve.

Across the way I could see a wooden hanger which asked the question in bold blue letters, “Don’t like the Cats, you are in the wrong place”! Wildcat fans would love that.

In between customers at the Homeless booth, Peggy from the Collis P. Huntington Historical Society stopped by to chat about the New River Excursions. “The leaves were gorgeous this year, just like they are supposed to be”, Peggy gushed as you tried to sign me up for next year’s ride.

Like all fairs these days, money is tight for shoppers. That makes the weather all the more important for the artisans and Lions alike.

This year for a second straight craft fair, a Saturday snowfall cut back on attendance. Despite the wet nature of Saturday’s snow, word that I-64 had been closed by a few accidents in the slushy snow prompted some people to stay at home. Such is December weather in Appalachia.

That brings to mind the notion that we as weathercasters must understand how our words will impact the people who watch us. If we hit the snow too hard, we can subliminally convince people to stay at home. Naturally that can have a huge impact on mall traffic and in this case a local craft fair.

It is indeed a fine line to draw between a wet and navigable wet snow and an icy snow that turns roads into ice rinks. A few degrees either way and walla, the nature of the forecast changes. It is a constant struggle to get this right, even after seeing the weather here for some 22 years. Trust me, I know first hand!

Our message Friday and Saturday was to give yourself some extra time, but by no means cancel your plans to shop. Josh in particular made it clear that roads would trend wet in the afternoon. Perfect!

By Sunday, the sun shone milkily which coaxed people out of their one day hibernation.

So next year, circle the first weekend in December on your calendar. If the weather holds up, you might be surprised at the shopping bargains to be had!
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