110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
By Jen Horton
posted Sep 19, 2009 - 12:16:11pm
It was, oh, about 11 years ago. Sandy Chavez and a friend were sitting around thinking about fundraisers for the MainStreet DeLand Association.
"We decided we were going to do a little craft show," Chavez said. "About 30 crafters showed up."
The little craft show originally took up one side of Indiana Avenue. Chavez said it grew to both sides of the street.
Then, about five years ago, the two-day annual event, by then called Rivertown Craft Show and Bazaar, had grown so big that Woodland Boulevard needed to be shut down during the festivities.
Chavez has been the Rivertown Craft Show and Bazaar chairwoman for all 11 years. She said the event has come a long way from its beginning.
"It was a grass-roots effect," Chavez said. "We have approximately 100 vendors that will be here."
The show will be set up down the middle of Woodland Boulevard 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 26-27. Admission is free.
"We have some really cool crafters," Chavez said.
One vendor will have a trailer where patrons can stuff their own down bears; another will have a trailer available for folks to mine fossils.
Chavez described some of the crafters.
"Of course, a lot of handmade items, a lot of jewelry — which the women will love," Chavez said. "A lot of woodwork. We have Stan Knowles, the chain-saw artist."
Bonnie Weiss, owner of Spruce Creek Mining Co., is excited about DeLand's craft festival. Her mines will take up booths 146 and 147, and have two parts.
"The first part is an 18-and-a-half-foot trailer that has been converted into a mine," she said.
Participants put on hard hats and mine for gemstones, minerals, fossils and shells.
"The second part is two 10-foot sluices," Weiss said.
Weiss used to work in marketing. Her neighbor, who owned Coal River Mining, decided to make a mobile mine. Weiss had so much fun marketing and promoting the new mobile mine that she bought one.
"It's so much fun. It's educational, and it's something you see families doing together," she said.
For more information about the Rivertown Craft Show and Bazaar, call the MainStreet DeLand Association at (386) 738-0649.
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