RUMFORD — Vehicles lined both sides of Lincoln Avenue for a few blocks and the Rumford Elementary School parking lot was packed as hundreds of people browsed wares ranging from knit goods to scrumptious-looking desserts at the school’s craft fair Saturday.

“I just came here for the shopping and I’m hanging out with my best friend,” 7-year-old Annelise Witas of Rumford said, looking through a barrel of free origami Christmas stars at the Hanover library table.

She and Mallorie Bourret, also 7, of Rumford, had gotten their faces painted by kindergarten teacher Debi Sullivan of Rumford.

After picking out stars, both girls got interested in a box of large, black, spider lollipops made by Sherry Blank’s fifth-grade class at the school’s crafts and food table across the aisle.

Lynne Ramsey and Paulette Booth, both of Hanover, were giving away the origami stars and selling handmade crafts created by the Hanover Library Bees.

The money raised would benefit the Gardner Roberts Memorial Library, as Hanover’s community center off Route 2 is officially called.

Ramsey said the Bees meet once a week to knit and quilt and make crafts to sell.

“The library has a fall fair and what we don’t sell there we bring down here,” she said. “We did very well this year.”

Business on Saturday was very steady, Ramsey said.

“We always get a good crowd here,” she said. “We sold a few big things and a few little things.”

Vendors and crafters at several tables offered Christmas wares, including baskets of handmade evergreen boughs topped with rustic birdhouses, a 3-foot-tall stuffed moose standing on its hind legs while sporting a pretty scarf, and lots of ornaments and colorful, knitted mittens, socks and hats.

A Buxton man was selling handmade cribbage boards and walking sticks at the Tom’s Wood Works table down a hallway where Brenda Soucy and 8-year-old Alysa Comeau, both of Rumford, were selling colorful handmade hair barrettes.

Soucy agreed with Ramsey about the “very good” crowd.

“This is a good turnout today,” she said. “There is a lot of good stuff here.”

She and Comeau, whose brown hair sported a big, red, flowery barrette to match her outfit, were offering the hair decorations that took two weeks to make for $2. They were raising money for the River Valley Animal Advocates in Canton, which runs a low-cost spay and neuter program.

A small, coffin-shaped box containing a cute skull and free candy caught the eyes of several children who were hesitant to take the sweets until Soucy said it was OK.

Makenzie Daigle, 5, of Mexico, however, helped herself to a strawberry candy while clutching a red lollipop in the other hand. She was helping her mother, Tracy Daigle, sell crafts at the next table for Relay For Life team Abbie’s Avengers.

Tracy’s other daughter, Kaydence Daigle, 4, was out in the main sales lobby with her grandmother, Laurie Glover of Rumford. Kaydence was hovering around the fifth-graders’ spider lollipops box.

“She’s already been back here a couple of times,” Glover said. They were browsing the many goods being sold.

At the RES tables, teen girls and parent volunteer Steve Allison of Rumford sold items that students, teachers and volunteers had made for the 20th annual craft fair.

“We just sold a big cake and a whole big thing (of Halloween-frosted) cupcakes,” Allison said to RES Principal Chris Decker. “And the peanut-butter fudge just disappeared quick. We had a good, steady crowd all morning. I can’t believe it, and most everybody has been lugging stuff out.”

Decker said the school craft fair has been getting larger and more successful every year.

“We rely a lot on volunteers,” he said. “They make this successful — both parents and teacher volunteers.”

The fair raises money for the RES Parent-Teacher Organization, which runs educational enhancement programs, including playground equipment, field trips for kids and visiting authors, Decker said.

[email protected]

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: