For the 38th year in a row, local crafters will take over Cayuga Community College this weekend for the Holiday Festival Craft Show.
The annual show brings together more than 100 knitters, woodworkers, quilters, jewelers and bakers. Last year, there were 175 vendors and more than 3,000 people in attendance.
“This is a really big show,” said Norman Lee, the college’s director of student activities and the event’s main organizer. “Attendance has been increasing over the years. It’s a good way to see if there are any bargains to catch.”
He attributed that growth to more interest in crafting in general, perhaps as a thrifty alternative for people struggling through the economy.
The most popular items each year, Lee said, are things that can be given away as gifts: wreathes, jewelry, birdhouses and doll clothing, for instance.
The increasing interest has attracted some vendors away from a similar show at the state fairgrounds, especially because the entry fee is low.
There will be several new vendors, but Lee estimated that about 85 percent are returning.
For shoppers, not having an entrance fee drastically increases the turnout, Lee said.
“It’s a nice way to get out of the house and browse the area,” Lee said. “I’m sure people will find they’ll bump into friends and neighbors, and maybe some people they only see once a year at the craft fair.”
Puppeteer Stephen Baird will perform, as he has for the last 20 years, on Saturday and Sunday between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
The Auburn Players Community Theater will perform a children’s play at noon and 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in the Irene A. Bisgrove Community Theater.
The Barrigar Brothers will play acoustic music from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday in the Cayuga Cafe.
Speaking of the cafe, there will be the usual assortment of local, comfort and cultural food.
The alumni office will sell breakfast pizza in the morning and the tutoring club will have hot dogs, both as fundraisers. There will be Jamaican and Italian food, fried dough and meatball sandwiches.
“It’s a nice fair to get you in the mood of the Christmas holiday and the whole spirit of things,” Lee said. “There’s a lot of festive things.”