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Both new and old at Hillsboro Arts and Crafts Fair

Staff writer

For the first time in Hillsboro Arts and Crafts Fair’s 47-year history, the estimated 40,000 shoppers who will attend this year’s fair can buy something new — that is old.

In years past, Hillsboro Arts and Crafts Association only allowed vendors to sell original, handcrafted items. These items were new to both the seller and the buyer.

However, in an attempt to capitalize on upcycled, vintage-inspired, and refurbished trash-to-treasure trends, the association is allowing some vendors to sell new-to-you items, such as a decorative piece made from an old barn window.

“This year we let them in because of the decorating trend that is very popular this year,” said fair director Brenda Walls. “We’re excited to have these new vendors with refurbished and upcycled materials to offer.”

Walls is in her first year as director, and she said she is excited to see the annual Arts and Crafts Fair continue to grow in this way while still upholding the values it has had since it originated in 1970.

“Selecting quality arts and crafts vendors makes our show very popular,” she said.

Walls said she is expecting about 300 vendors from 15 states to attend the fair, which is 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in downtown Hillsboro. A panel of judges voted on the selected vendors.

Shoppers can expect many longtime vendors who return year after year mixed in with many new vendors with even more to offer, Walls said.

Food booths from local shops, churches, and community organizations will feature foods including bierocks, smoked sausage, and funnel cakes.

“All food vendors are local,” Walls said. “We do that for a reason. It puts money back into local people and organizations’ pockets. We feel that is important to do to keep the money local.”

To navigate through a downtown stretch of six blocks of vendors both on the sidewalk and in the streets, Walls suggests showing up early and taking your time.

“Make sure you take in the whole show,” she said. “Just expect a crowd and be nice to each other.”

The greatest challenge for shoppers, Walls said, is parking.

To combat that, there will be designated parking at the fairgrounds with buses to shuttle people downtown.

“We’re just hoping for some nice weather now,” Walls said.

Last modified Sept. 13, 2017

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