EMORY, Va. — Buyers can take advantage of early holiday shopping when nearly 50 vendors exhibit their wares at the 35th annual Emory & Henry College Arts & Crafts Fair.

The fair, free of charge and open to the public, will be held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 14-16, in the Mason Fellowship Hall in Memorial Chapel on the Emory & Henry campus.

Early birds can attend a preview sale from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 13, that requires an admission fee of $3.

Attic Treasures, a sale of gently used consignment items, will also take place during fair hours.

Handcrafted by artisans, items at the fair will include baked goods, home decor, clothing, holiday ornaments and decorations, photography, pottery, fabric and quilting, candles, jewelry, baked items, hand-turned wooden products and wool items.

“We have many talented artists who attract customers each year,” said Heda Quillin, a volunteer with the fair.

Tina Goodpasture said this will be her 23rd year as a vendor at the event.

“The fair is one of my best shows,” said Goodpasture, who named her arts and crafts business Shack in the Back.

Goodpasture will bring stand-up snowmen made from muslin, recycled wool and canvas.

“I’ll also have Santas and snowmen made from gourds, homemade candles, quilt-block pillows, corn-husk dolls and snowman ornaments.” Her other items include wheat wreaths, primitive dolls, lavender sachets and soap made from mule milk.

A cellphone stand is one of the many handmade ceramic items Susan Powers will bring to the show.

Powers, whose business is Glass Owl and Pottery Works, will exhibit an eclectic group of pottery items, such as trays, bowls and leaf-shaped dishes. Her bird, snowflake and angel ornaments are some of her favorites.

Sports fans will enjoy seeing the handcrafted wooden signs made by Bill and Renae Ratliff of Abingdon.

Ratliff assembles handcrafted wooden blocks that spell the names of college and professional sports teams. He even paints the signs to match the colors for each team.

Signs can sit on a mantel or desk or be mounted to a wall.

Other favorites this year are vendors Kathy McKinney and her sister Carla McKinney, both of Meadowview, who are well known for their needle-felted ornaments.

Another local favorite at the event is Whitney Copenhaver’s unique photography. The Glade Spring artist has been creating and selling her photography gift items for more than 10 years. Gift items include recipe cards, drink coasters, Christmas ornaments and note cards.

The Arts & Crafts Fair is sponsored by the College Community Club, and proceeds go to scholarships administered by Emory & Henry College, grants for special projects and assistance with maintenance of the historic Tobias Smyth House on the campus.

The community club started in 1896 with a meeting of a small group of women in the Emory community who called themselves the Emory & Henry Library and Improvement Association. Edith Waterhouse, the wife of the former E&H president, R.G. Waterhouse, helped to start the club, which attended to the needs of students and employees at the college.

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Carolyn R. Wilson is a freelance writer in Glade Spring, Virginia. Contact her at news@washconews.com.

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