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Big Creek Arts and Craft Fair on Saturday
First Redeemer puts on event
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Forsyth County News

If you’re going

* What: Big Creek Arts and Craft Fair

* When: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday

* Where: First Redeemer Church’s Student and Family Center, 2100 Peachtree Pkwy.

* Cost: Free to enter, vendors charge for items

In what has become an annual tradition, a local church is holding an arts and crafts festival this weekend.

First Redeemer Church on Hwy. 141 in south Forsyth presents the Big Creek Arts and Craft Fair from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in the church’s Student and Family Center.

“It’s been about 10 years now,” said organizer Judy Lee, noting that the event continues to grow. “We have about 100 vendors and we’ve never had that many before.”

Lee said the fair draws artists from all over the Southeast. They offer a wide range of items, ranging from candles and skin care products to jewelry and cooking supplies.

“We have  a lady doing pillows and doll clothing, and we have Christmas things … silk flowers, baby items, candy, really just about everything,” Lee said.

New this year are a silent auction, raffle for a tablet computer and a bake shop.

“The silent auction will be quite nice,” she said. “We have a bicycle and a quilt and some original oil paintings, different things on that level.”

The bake shop features various handmade goods from church volunteers.

“We’ll have homemade cakes, candy, breads, cookies and muffins,” Lee said. “I can tell you right now, the pecan pies, it will be fortunate if we have any of those left after a couple of hours. The lady who bakes those, everybody knows what she does.”

All proceeds from the raffle, silent auction and bake shop go to There’s Hope Ministries, which include programs for the hungry and women facing unexpected pregnancies, as well as church building projects around the world.

Rental fees for the booths also go the ministries, but all sales stay with vendors.

“We do this not just for the ministries, but also for the vendors,” Lee said. “We have a lot of the same vendors to come back and they have become our friends.”

She noted that the church’s Coffee Lodge will be open all day, selling breakfast and lunch, as well as coffee and other beverages.

Another change this year is the elimination of an entrance fee.

“We’ve always charged like a $3 admission, but this year it’s free,” Lee said. “The economy is bad and we just felt like it would cause more people to come maybe and support these vendors.”

The event, which uses the help of about 100 church volunteers, always draws large crowds.

“I don’t have a clue as far as exactly how many people come,” Lee said. “Hundreds and hundreds, maybe even a couple of thousands, we have people in here all day long.”