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Holiday craft fairs at local high schools benefit band programs

Craft fairs offer area residents the chance to jump start their holiday preparations and shopping. (Photo courtesy of JB Brown/J. B. Photography)

It’s quickly approaching – craft fair season.

All eight Rockwood and Parkway high schools host craft fairs, with proceeds benefitting each school’s band program. Craft fairs often feature handcrafted items like jewelry, woodworking, pottery, artwork and knitted or crochet items. But according to Gina Sellers, who is in her sixth-year as chairperson for the Eureka High craft fair, now in its 27th year, new items are trending.

“With beekeeping on the rise, honey is becoming a popular item, as are homemade soaps,” she said.

Sellers said the Eureka fair has been sponsored by the Band Patrons Association for the last 16 years. The proceeds benefit the marching, concert and jazz bands and the guard teams.

Another hugely popular craft fair is the one held at Parkway West High, now in its 33rd year. That fair, sponsored by the Band Boosters Club, is held over two days.

At both locations, approximately 150 vendors participate. Nearly half reserve their spots for the following year by the conclusion of the current year’s event.

Sellers explained that since this is one of their largest fundraisers, band students are very involved in nearly every aspect of Eureka’s one-day event. Students set up the gymnasium for the fair, lay out tarps and run electricity. The morning of the event, they help move the vendors to their booths and check in with them throughout the day to see if they have any pressing needs. At the end of the day, students help vendors to their vehicles.

In addition to raising funds through vendor fees, band parents operate a concession booth. To entertain the crowds, various ensembles and groups play holiday music throughout the day.

The scenario is similar at Parkway West High. While the proceeds benefit the band program at-large, it is the marching band students who work the annual event. In addition to helping vendors unload and set up, the students run a concession booth, bake sale and book sale.

Marquette kicks-off fair season in mid-October and Lafayette High ends the season in December, with plenty of craft fairs in between. Here are the basics but each fair’s website offers additional information.

Marquette: Saturday, Oct. 13, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., marquette-bands.com/fundraisers.php

Parkway West: Saturday, Oct 27 and Sunday, Oct. 28, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. both days,parkwaywestband.weebly.com/2018-craft-fair.html

Eureka: Saturday, Nov. 3, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., eurekabands.homestead.com/bandpatrons.html

Parkway North: Saturday, Nov. 3 and Sunday, Nov. 4, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., pnhband.com/pn-craft-fair.html

Parkway Central: Saturday, Nov. 10 and Sunday, Nov. 11, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., musicpch.com

Parkway South: Saturday, Nov. 17, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 18, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.,spirit76.net/craft-fair/

Rockwood Summit: Saturday, Nov. 17, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 18, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., silverfalconband.com/fundraisers

Lafayette: Saturday, Dec. 1, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., rsdmo.org/lafayette/activities/band/marketplace


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