Kent holiday market not your average crafty event

It may take place at a senior center, but Kent’s Holiday Craft Market is not your grandmother’s craft fair. Now in its 22nd year, the market runs Nov. 7 and 8 at the Kent Senior Activity Center.

  • BY Wire Service
  • Tuesday, November 4, 2008 12:41pm
  • Life
Phyllis Johnston of Kent

Phyllis Johnston of Kent

It may take place at a senior center, but Kent’s Holiday Craft Market is not your grandmother’s craft fair. Now in its 22nd year, the market runs Nov. 7 and 8 at the Kent Senior Activity Center.

Two of the first things market-goers will see at the event is the found-art mosaics and slate-and-copper-framed mirrors created by Jane Perrigo.

Right next to her booth, Kent resident Sylvia Chang will show off her own unusual handiwork: knobbly cypress-knee Santas, ironwood-pod wreaths and artwork made from strangely shaped gourds.

“We have a committee that reviews the stuff before it’s even allowed into the show,” explained event organizer Cindy VandenBerg, adding that visitors can expect quality handmade items at all of the market’s 70-plus vendor booths.

Those items cover a wide range of arts and crafts — from hand-dipped candles and one-of-a-kind jewelry, to glass trays made from melted-down wine bottles.

And while there’s eye candy a plenty, visitors will have more than just merchandise to browse over. Entertainers will keep live holiday music going on two stages, and a “figgy pudding” bake sale will offer homemade goodies. (Sorry, no actual figgy pudding.) Senior center staff also will serve a hot, homemade lunch.

“The location is lovely, and the way (Cindy) gets it set up and everybody into here, it’s very festive,” said Jane Perrigo, a participant in the market for six years now.

Perrigo started out as a vendor when she lived in Seattle; now that she’s moved out to Okanogan in Eastern Washington, she makes the 4-plus-hour trek to Kent every year because she enjoys it so much. “It’s a terrific little show,” she said. “It’s very well-organized.”

Chang offered similar sentiments. A retired nurse, she’s been selling her artwork at the market for two decades, and she still looks forward to it every year.

“It’s a really nice craft show,” Chang said. “Cindy is absolutely wonderful.”

The market is one of the core fundraisers for the senior center, netting approximately $7,000 in vendor fees, according to VandenBerg.

The craft market runs 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 7, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 8 at the Kent Senior Activity Center, 600 E. Smith St. Admission is free.

For more details, call VandenBerg at 253-856-5162.


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