20th Spring Daze a big hit

CorrespondentApril 30, 2013 


— Nice weather and more than 160 art vendors lured thousands of visitors to the annual Spring Daze Arts & Crafts Festival on Saturday.

Artists sold a variety of goods during the 20th annual event, and bands other performers entertained throughout the day at Fred G. Bond Metro Park.

Visitors made their way through a maze of offerings, which include just about every craft imaginable. The Children’s Village offered kid-friendly fun.

“It was just a perfect day for it,” said Ken Lane, as son Drake, 3, sat on his shoulders and marveled at the sites.

Lane and his family have made the event a yearly tradition. “There are just so many great activities for kids.”

For vendors, Spring Daze is a chance to get merchandise in front of lots of shoppers. Organizers estimate the event draws tens of thousands of visitors each year. Saturday’s warm, sunny weather might have drawn a bigger crowd than usual.

Linda Cassell’s crocheted items are sold at craft fairs around the state. But the Lexington resident and first-time Spring Daze vendor was amazed by the turnout.

“This is just a wonderful craft show,” she said while fielding questions from a line of customers. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen as many people at one of these events.”

Getting noticed in the crowd can be a challenge for vendors, who set up in small tents throughout the park. It’s easy to get lost in a sea of offerings.

But Sarah Coffey, a vendor specializing in crafting wreaths from old church and school choir books, packed curious visitors into her tent.

“I’ve done very well today,” Coffey said. “But I think I have something very unique. I think people gravitate toward things that are a little different than what they are used to seeing.”

As a full-time mom, Coffey said her crafts give her an outlet, letting her do what she loves from home and add to the household finances. She moved to Apex a little more than a year ago from Connecticut.

“The weather here is great,” she said. “In New England, we can’t really do many outside shows even in the spring because of the cold weather. There’s so much more you can do here.”

Others have turned the festival into a family business. Painter Lisa Marie Keys enlisted the help of husband Jim Keys and daughter Kristen Rogers. Jim handles the display construction, and Kristen helps with sales.

“Everybody has their job,” Lisa Marie Rogers said with laugh.

First-time vendor Dawn Lee said she was impressed with the festival. She makes clay pieces that attach to flip-flops.

“I wanted to see what the reaction would be,” she said. “I’d love to come back next year.”

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