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Kris Kringle Holiday Craft and Give Show has 'everything'

November 18, 2007|By MARLO BARNHART

As one happy shopper emerged Saturday from the 24th annual Kris Kringle Holiday Craft and Gift Show, she was cradling what was destined to be her daughter's Christmas present in her arms.

"There is anything and everything in there," said the West Virginia woman, who asked to remain anonymous in case her daughter might learn what surprise will be awaiting her under the Christmas tree next month.

Organizer Linda Williams was busy navigating through the 124 vendors Saturday at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center Antietam Creek on Dual Highway for the two-day event.

By midafternoon Saturday, more than 3,000 people had come through the doors, she said.

The growth of the craft show prompted Williams to announce a year in advance that the 25th annual event will be held Nov. 22-23, 2008, at Hagerstown Community College's Athletic, Recreation and Community Center.

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"We will go from 10,000 to 47,000 square feet with enough space for 250 vendors," Williams said. "I'm really excited ... there are 40,000 fliers already printed for all who come this weekend as well as for all the vendors to take home."

Vendors come from as far away as New York, Delaware and Pennsylvania as well as locally. They must present only handcrafted items, she said.

An employee of the Ramada (now the Clarion) for 22 years, Williams always has been involved in crafts.

"This show was started for the late Mrs. Haven Hoffman, known as Mrs. Santa Claus, and it has grown over the years," Williams said.

There is no admission except for the voluntary donation of a toy or nonperishable food item for the Hagerstown Trinity Lutheran Church food bank.

"We charge the vendors and there is also a raffle," Williams said. The money raised this year will go to Breast Cancer Awareness-Cumberland Valley.

Last year, the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life received $3,000 from the sale.

Harold Semler of Z-One Entertainment has provided Christmas music and announcing duties as his donation to the effort.

For convenience, four golf carts are stationed at the ballroom entrance - three to ferry patrons to and from their vehicles and the fourth in reserve for vendors needing to restock their wares during the show.




If you go

What: Kris Kringle's Holiday Craft and Gift Show

When: Today, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Clarion Hotel and Conference Center Antietam Creek, Dual Highway, Hagerstown

Free admission. Patrons are asked to bring non-perishable food items for Christmas baskets for local needy families and/or a new toy for underprivileged children. The items will be donated to Trinity Lutheran Church in Hagerstown for distribution.

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