Neither Friday’s snowstorm nor the H1N1 outbreak seemed to hinder attendance at the 32nd annual Christmas at the Forum Craft Fair this past weekend as big crowds filled the stadium for a weekend of holiday shopping.
“It’s been a lot better this year than it has the past couple years,” said James Morgan, of Orchid Designs from Toronto.
While Orchid Designs is new to Christmas at the Forum, Morgan has been at the craft fair in years past working for Simple Smile Craft Creations and says he has not noticed a decrease in the crowds compared to last year.
While festival co-ordinators wouldn’t give any information regarding attendance at this year’s event, the crowds seemed to be steady as the final hours wrapped up the three-day event on Sunday.
“I used to be a manager of a children’s shoe store in MicMac Mall,” said local vendor Linda Bruce, who has been working the craft circuit for about three years.
“Then I had surgery and couldn’t go back to work, so I just started doing this as a hobby. So, I thought maybe I should try craft shows and it’s worked out quite well,” she said.
Bruce has built a small, seasonal business selling handmade wreaths, teddy bears, fleece hats and mittens, along with personalized hand painted ornaments.
The varying demand for different crafts each year made it difficult for Bruce to judge whether the crowds had grown of shrunk.
“This year, I think it’s because of the snow we had on Friday,” says Bruce. “I sold all of the hat sizes the first day and a half, and this year the wreaths aren’t going fast.”