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Caledonia fair wares heat up, as do temps

July 13, 2008|By CHRIS CARTER

FAYETTEVILLE, PA. Jere and Linda Gossert left Caledonia State Park on Saturday, their hands full of bags after the Arts and Crafts Fair.

Among the items in their arms were therapeutic salt lamps, which were being sold by one of the approximately 200 vendors at the 26th annual event.

"They're supposed to cure what ails you, so we'll see," said Linda Gossert, 56, of Fayetteville. "There's always something new here at the fair."

The salt lamps glow bright orange when heated and are advertised to support healthier living by reducing air pollution, relieving sinus problems and allergies, and increasing concentration.

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"The light bulb is what heats it up," said Jere Gossert, 70. "We come every year, and it's always a little different."

Don and Vicki Kensinger also showcased a unique rock collection under the Rocks and Rags tent.

Don takes scraps from countertops and turns them into rock oil candles. Among the rocks are polished granite, limestone and red rock. Don simply shapes the rock, inserts a glass beneath the rock for oil to be funneled into and attaches a wick to the top.

"It's purely a hobby - something to do in the evenings," Don Kensinger said. "A couple of years ago, we made them as Christmas gifts for family members. They like it and I like doing it."

Meanwhile, Vicki specializes in the "rags" part of the operation. She takes a piece of white canvas, dips in paint and wrings it out before adding various quotes to create a colorful, usually insightful banner.

It was the first time the Kensingers, of Palmyra, Pa., were vendors at the event.

"We've been doing this for about a year, so this is our first time to Caledonia ," Don said. "It's a good show and it's a beautiful day. Although the crowd kind of thinned out as the day went on."

The forest of the park helped shade people from the 90-plus degree heat, while others took a dip in the swimming pool adjacent to the rows of vendors.

The variety of arts and crafts included pottery, stained glass, jewelry, furniture, wreaths, silk creations, folk art, custom leather, walking sticks, bath and body products, handmade handbags and hand-forged iron.

Shoppers from Franklin and surrounding counties filtered in and out, said Rex Lord, a park manager with the Pennsylvania Bureau of State Parks who worked the entrance in the afternoon.

Lord said the crowd peaked shortly after the fair opened at 9 a.m., but the overall turnout was lower than last year.

"I don't know if it's the $4-a-gallon gas or if it's the economy," Lord said. "Still, it's a good day. I love this park. It's a place where people can come and intersect with nature. I volunteer here, and seeing people just come in and have fun is what it's all about."

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