POPLAR RIDGE | More than 50 local artists and craftspeople gathered to display their products on Saturday during the 33rd annual Craft Fair at Southern Cayuga High School.

The fair featured locally-made products such as soaps, jewelry, quilts, holiday wreaths and the Easter favorite, Pysanky eggs. For the people in the community, the yearly show serves as a way to tour the variety of arts and crafts that exist in their own backyard. And for the vendors who participate, it's an opportunity to show off their work.

"It's a neat venue for us because it's the community we live in," said Venice resident Irene Kulis, whose table was filled on Saturday with items knit out of the wool from her family alpacas. "It gets our name out there."

Kulis, who has been participating in the fair for three years now, said one of the best parts of the event is meeting the people. She said she often sees people there whom she already knows, as friends or customers, and looks forward to meeting new crafters at the show each year.

Emily LePinnet, a jewelry maker out of Locke, said this was her second trip to the craft fair, deciding to set up her table again Saturday after having such a positive experience last year.

"It was a great turnout and well-visited and I had a great time," she said of last year's show that made her want to return this year. "I think it draws people in that it's inside, too, because it doesn't matter what the weather is like outside. It's always warm and toasty in here so it's somewhere you can go."

Both Kulis and LePinnet said they feel displaying at the craft fair has helped promote their products and better the business. But more than anything, it gives the crafters a chance to show off the things they've worked so hard to produce.

"It gives me a feeling of pride to display something and it's nice to see it all out in the open," LePinnet said. "It's nice to have people stop by and tell me they like something I've made."

The craft fair wrapped up Saturday afternoon after several hours of displays, sales and craft demonstrations such as egg decorating and wreath-making. As the vendors packed up their merchandise, many began to already look forward to next year's event.

"It's just so much fun to see people, whether they buy or not," said Kulis. "It's just a happy place to be."

Staff writer Kelsey Durham can be reached at (315) 282-2237 or kelsey.durham@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter @CitizenDurham.

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