PLATTSBURGH — There’s a new arts & crafts fair in town.
SUNY Plattsburgh’s College Auxiliary Services announced online it would not hold what would have been its 49th annual artisan fair at the university’s Field House this November due to ongoing construction there.
Taking its place is the Adirondack Coast Arts and Crafts Fair at the Crete Memorial Civic Center hosted by Adirondack Coast Events, the same organization that puts on indoor sports leagues at the city-owned arena.
“I think our local and regional artisans have probably been among the groups that have been hit the hardest by what COVID has done over the last couple of years,” Steve Peters, owner of Adirondack Coast Events, said.
“Being that the Crete Center is, really, the only building of its size in the region that is currently available, it’s a 100% honor to be able to provide this to everybody.”
NO. CO. STAPLE
The SUNY-run event typically attracts upwards of 140 area artisans.
Pottery, mittens, jewelry, quilts, maple syrup, wine, dog treats and more sit for sale in rows, with the crafter sitting table-side to talk about their creations.
The market is a North Country staple each November, and kicks off the holiday shopping season for many.
It was canceled last year out of concern for COVID-19.
“As we began to look at the questions related to transmission and safety and particularly given both our vendors, many of whom are retired and older folks, and the fact that we attract such a large amount of attendees, there was just no way that we could go forward with this responsibly,” Mary-Nell Bockman, former director of the craft fair and conference and events services director at College Auxiliary Services, had said.
“It’s impossible to social distance at an event like this.”
College Auxiliary Services recently said it would not hold the event for the second year in a row.
“We are currently investing in several major upgrades to the Field House gymnasium, which prevents us from holding events there at this time,” SUNY Plattsburgh Executive Director of Strategic Communications Heather Haskins told the Press-Republican.
“The Field House upgrades include a new, state-of-the-art running tack and artificial grass turf playing surface, as well as new bleachers, jumping pits, lighting and more.”
VENDORS SIGNED UP
Through an agreement with the City of Plattsburgh, Peters, via his other business Elevate 518 LLC, operates and manages the Crete Center on Beach Road off of Route 9.
The scheduled craft fair, planned for the second weekend of November, has space enough for 190 booths and vendors can reserve up to two at $85 a piece.
Peters said more than 80 artisans had reserved some 125 booths as of Thursday.
“It’s the perfect time of year to be able to start that Christmas shopping and to be able to get things that are one of a kind,” Peters said. “This is an opportunity that I’m pretty happy to provide.”
The event will follow all Clinton County Health Department recommendations when it comes to COVID-19, Peters said.
“I think COVID is a really big concern for everybody, of course,” he said, adding that masks would be required, regardless of vaccination status.
That was the Crete’s standard practice during its indoor sports season, during which Peters was proud to say there had been no documented cases of COVID there.
“That’s with active sports, lots of people playing,” he added.
Peters thought the Crete Center’s high ceilings and forced air heating system worked in its favor, helping to keep air flow going.
“I feel pretty comfortable there and very confident that what we can put together is a very popular, very busy, but very safe show.”
The Adirondack Coast Arts and Crafts Fair will be held Saturday, Nov. 13 and Sunday, Nov. 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
There is a $3 entry fee and children age 12 and under are free.
Vendors can visit www.adirondackcoastcraftfair.com for more information.
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