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Weather shortens Arts and Crafts Fair

July 11, 2009|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

FAYETTEVILLE, Pa. -- Heavy rain, gusty winds and forecasts of hail Saturday afternoon brought an early close to the 27th annual Arts and Crafts Fair at Caledonia State Park.

Only once in the last 28 years has weather canceled or affected the fair, Park Manager Bruce McFate said.

"One year, rain wiped us out completely," he said.

The fair was canceled in 2006 because of damage to the park from flooding the previous week.

About 111 vendors purchased spaces to sell their wares at the fair.

Antiques, primitives, handmade soaps, jewelry, artwork, purses, collectibles and other items were available at Saturday's fair.

But by 3 p.m., most of the vendors were packing up to avoid losing merchandise to the rain.

The Friends of Caledonia host the annual event, McFate said.

Also a fundraiser for the organization, McFate said the fair most recently has provided the group with money to purchase benches for the park.

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While both the crowd and the number of vendors were down this year due to the economy, McFate still called the day a success.

"I think it was a pretty nice day," he said.

He barely got those words out when one of his staff members informed him that torrential rain, 60-mph winds and hail were headed for the park.

Going booth to booth making the announcement, McFate urged the vendors still selling to pack it in early.

Before people began running to their cars for shelter, they commented that the sale was great.

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