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Crafters, customers come out in droves for annual Christmas Craft Fair in Houlton

HOULTON, Maine — Houlton’s Gentle Memorial Building was bustling with holiday cheer Friday, Nov. 26, as the 37th annual Holiday Craft Fair returned after a one-year hiatus.

The recreation center has traditionally hosted the fair, which has grown steadily from a couple dozen vendors in its first year to about 55 booths this year. That number is on par with previous craft fairs over the past few years, with vendors from around Aroostook County showcasing their wares.

“People were waiting at the door this morning for us to open up, so I would say things are going pretty well,” said Marie Carmichael, recreation director for Houlton. “Hopefully the vendors are seeing lots of sales.”

Pam and Amy Hocking were one set of vendors who were seeing a robust business Friday afternoon.

“It’s been very steady,” Amy Hocking said. “I think people were very excited to be out this year. We did not have it last year, and I think a lot of people missed it. I know I did. It’s been great seeing all these people and catching up with the other vendors.”

“It’s been really great today,” added Maureen Foster, a vendor from Ludlow who boasted a table full with 400 hand-knitted items. “I knit all year. It’s just something to do while the TV is on at night.”

“I think people were just really anxious to get out and do something,” added Ellen Tidd, whose booth featured intricate hand-made wooden signs.

The craft fair started out as multiple events in the Shiretown, held at various churches around the Thanksgiving weekend until a decision was made to merge them into one all-inclusive event in 1983.

Carmichael said the fair is open to any vendors who wanted to have a table, with crafters paying a fee to reserve space. Proceeds from the craft fair benefiting the recreation center’s youth programs.

The craft fair continued Saturday, Nov. 27, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Friday, November 26, 2021 — The Gentle Memorial Building in Houlton was bustling with activity Friday for the 37th annual Holiday Craft Fair. More than 50 vendors showcased a wide variety of hand-made items. (Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times)

HOULTON, Maine — November 26, 2021 — The 37th annual Holiday Craft Fair at the Gentle Memorial Building in Houlton featured a wide variety of seasonal items. (Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times)

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