CATO — Bonnie Spoor loves seeing the wide eyes and thrilled smiles from people when they see her wreaths and other plant decorations at the Community Bazaar and Craft Show in Cato.

Spoor said she enjoys making her decorations. She said her mother, Connie Smith, made some of the smaller items. Spoor said making her items is fairly expensive, so she doesn't make a huge profit off it, but she believes the joy she's seen her items bring people makes the endeavor worth it.

"I just want to make sure that they're happy for the holidays," Spoor said.

The annual show, at Cato-Meridian Elementary School and Recreation Center, featured more than 100 vendors. Items such as jewelry, soap, cookies and a plethora from Christmas items packed the school, while children could also visit Santa Claus.

Brian Radcliffe's table featured a small tree with various wooden carved ornaments, such as a heart, two puzzle pieces, an angel, a snowflake and a gingerbread man with a leg missing. His son Mason, 6, who made small crossbows of different colors, was with him. Brian began his ornament-carving hobby five years ago, and he eventually began taking his wares to different shows.

He helped Mason make the crossbows. Mason will keep $6 for every $8 crossbow sold, while Brian said he'll use the remaining money to buy more wood for the crossbows. Mason said he planned to buy toys with his share, but Brian reminded him that the holidays were coming up and that he could buy gifts for people. Briefly frowning and slumping his shoulders, Mason relented and said he'll buy presents.

Brian said he has glad he and his son could spend time together over their shared interests.

"Hopefully one day he'll take this over," Brian Radcliffe said.

Christine Smith and her granddaughter, Mackenzie Pollock, were among the various people darting through the hallways for potential buys. Smith, with packages of Christmas cookies in hand, said she comes to the bazaar every year hunting for goods. Mackenzie, 10, bought items for her teachers, including a scarf and Christmas thyme. Smith said she likes the selection the event offers. She said she had been searching for Christmas wreaths, which she eventually found at Spoor's section.

"There's all kinds of neat things (here,)" Smith said.

Ann Titus was at the event with a menagerie of novelty hats with designs such as a unicorn, the symbols for comic book superheroes Batman and Superman and the main character from the movie "Trolls." 

Titus said she started making novelty hats four years ago, after she made a hat with a monkey on it for her niece and a hat featuring a cat for her granddaughter. Eventually people started asking for hats and she continued from there.

Titus said she believed part of the appeal of the event was the promise of locally-made items.

"(People) want something homemade, they want something different, they want something unique," Titus said.

Staff writer Kelly Rocheleau can be reached at (315) 282-2243 or kelly.rocheleau@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @KellyRocheleau.

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Education Reporter