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Lots of hours required to prepare for crafts shows

Staff writer

Hillsboro and Marion will be exemplars of both commerce and volunteerism this weekend, as the communities welcome thousands of people for Arts & Crafts Fair in Hillsboro and Art in the Park in Marion.

On one hand, vendors will line the streets of downtown Hillsboro and Central Park in Marion, peddling their wares. On the other hand, it takes countless hours by organizers and other volunteers to make such events run smoothly.

“If it wasn’t for volunteers, I can tell you it wouldn’t go on,” chairman Judy Chistensen said of Art in the Park. “Every year the week of, they come out of the woodwork to help.”

Director Penni Schroeder said the same is true of Arts & Crafts Fair.

“It just couldn’t be done without all the people who help,” she said. “Just on Friday, street markers and fair officials, there are 19 of them.”

Volunteers also help direct traffic and ensure that bathrooms are clean and trash bins emptied, Christensen said.

There is a lot of last-minute work that goes into the events, but the work never really stops. Chistensen said she will be taking reservations for the 2012 Art in the Park while vendors are still selling on Saturday. Likewise, the Arts & Crafts Fair Association already has flyers ready for vendors to apply for the 2012 event.

“I just got off the phone with someone who wanted to reserve the same booth for 2013,” Schroeder said Friday.

The city governments and school districts also lend a helping hand with the events. For both events, the local school districts allow organizers to rent a school bus to shuttle visitors to the arts and crafts shows from satellite parking lots.

“So much of our volunteer force is city employees,” Christensen said.

The city puts in a lot of work to make sure Central Park is in the best shape it can be for Art in the Park, she said.

“The city’s a huge help,” Schroeder said. “They’re putting signs up for us.”

She also said Marion County Emergency Medical Services and Hillsboro Police Department are invaluable in ensuring visitors stay safe and healthy.

This is Schroeder’s first year as director of Arts & Crafts Fair, but the association has 42 years of experience, providing a lot of knowledge about what to do and when.

“That has been a huge help,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to Saturday, actually.”

Arts & Crafts Fair is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday in downtown Hillsboro. Art in the Park is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Central Park in Marion.

Last modified Sept. 15, 2011

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