The holiday season at Cayuga Community College means finals and winter break — and, before that, its annual craft fair.

This year's Holiday Craft Fair, the 44th, sees some changes to the event and the way it's organized. But its main attraction — a massive floor of crafters from the region — remains unchanged.

Pamela Heleen, executive assistant to college President Dr. Brian Durant, is overseeing the event for the first year. She said her office has taken it over from the Student Activities Board, and is partnering with the Cayuga Community College Foundation to present it. Heleen added that the change won't affect how crafters and patrons experience the show.

"It just gives us a great opportunity for organization and assigning resources," she said. 

Some patrons may notice one change, though: This year's Holiday Craft Fair will not have its traditional bill of live entertainment like music and local theater. Heleen explained that her office sought to increase the visibility of the college's students at the event, and so some DJs from the campus radio station will "spin" holiday music while other students offer help on the floor.

Otherwise, the 44th annual Holiday Craft Fair at Cayuga Community College will remain the seasonal shopping tradition it's been at the Auburn campus for almost half a century.

Here are some key statistics on the event:

1,000: Heleen expects about 1,000 visitors to this year's fair. However, with families and multiple points of entry, it's hard for the college to count accurately, she said.

148: This year's fair will feature 148 craft vendor booths, Heleen said, which is in line with previous years.

250: More than 250 people will staff the booths this year, Heleen said. Now that her office organizes the event, she continued, it will track both booths and the people running them. That way, she knows how much Subway to order for lunch, she said with a laugh. And with that database, she added, the college can more easily manage the fair in the coming years.

56: Vendors at the fair will represent 56 cities and towns — the farthest is 158 miles away in Pennsylvania, Heleen said. "We're excited to see small businesses doing well, from Cayuga County and beyond," she said.

1,700: Those 148 booths will be set up in the college's Spartan Hall gym, the gym's foyer, the student lounge and the main entrance. The total floor space requires 1,700 feet of draping, Heleen said, as well as ...

6,600: ... about 6,600 square feet of carpeting to cover the gym's wooden floors.

5: The college has been working for five months on this year's fair, tallying...

200: ... more than 200 man hours, Heleen estimates. She credited the college's building and grounds and safety and security departments, as well as student workers and other coordinators. "It's truly a great thing to see it become a college resource," she said.

Lake Life Editor David Wilcox can be reached at (315) 282-2245 or Follow him on Twitter @drwilcox.


Features editor for The Citizen.