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Festival draws regional artists
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Sandra Orr assists a customer at her custom glass art booth during the Big Creek Arts and Crafts Fair at First Redeemer Church. - photo by Autumn McBride

More than 80 vendors shared their wares during the annual Big Creek Arts and Crafts Fair on Saturday at First Redeemer Church in south Forsyth.

Organizer Judy Lee, wife of pastor Richard Lee, said the event has been held for about a decade, expanding from less than 25 vendors to 84 this year.

"It just kept growing and now we have to turn [vendors] away," she said.

The vendors that don’t get turned away hail from all over the Southeast, she said.

"We have some from as far as Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina and Mississippi," Lee said.

Proceeds from the event benefit various church missions, zincluding There’s Hope for the Hungry, which provides boxes of food to families in need.

According to its Web site, the ministry has fed more than 42,000 people so far in 2011.

Saturday’s fair offered numerous items, including jewelry, art, and home and garden decorations.

Among other items were aprons, crocheted sweaters, paintings, spa products, food items and hand-carved wood crafts.

Sandra Orr, owner of Glass Perfections, presented her handmade glass items used for outdoor decorations.

"This is my first public showing," she said. "I chose [this event] because First Redeemer is marvelous. I came as a customer and was really impressed."

It was Laura Phillips’ fourth year as a vendor at the fair.

Through her business, Honey Bun and Sweetie Pie, she sells hand-crocheted baby items such as booties and hats.

"I love it here," she said. "They treat you well and there’s a lot of people and other high-quality vendors with mostly handmade stuff."

While she said no formal list is kept, Lee estimated there were "hundreds and hundreds" of customers Saturday.

"We offer all different things and most of them are handmade," she said. "People appreciate the quality."