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First Collins Christmas Craft Fair set for Nov. 16 to 18 at Amherst Centre Mall exhibition centre

John Warner from the Amherst Artisans Gallery and Lisa Emery from CFTA Tantramar Community Radio look over plans for the first Collins Christmas Craft Fair at the Amherst Centre Mall from Nov. 16 to 18.
John Warner from the Amherst Artisans Gallery and Lisa Emery from CFTA Tantramar Community Radio look over plans for the first Collins Christmas Craft Fair at the Amherst Centre Mall from Nov. 16 to 18. - Darrell Cole

70 Maritime exhibitors expected for three-day celebration

AMHERST, N.S. – Arlene Collins is one of Cumberland County’s most popular artists.

Collins has participated in numerous craft fairs around the Atlantic region and with Amherst being at the centre of the Maritimes, and her being a Cumberland County-based artist, it only made sense to host one here.

“This is the first time we’ve had an upscale craft fair in Amherst at Christmas,” John Warner of the Amherst Artisans Gallery and Market said. “Each of the booths have been juried and the people we have participating are bringing in high quality items.”

The fair will be held in the exhibition centre in the former Zellers space at the Amherst Centre Mall on Friday, Nov. 16 from 2 to 9 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 17 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 18 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The event also coincides with Amherst’s Christmas kickoff that includes the downtown light up on Nov. 16 and the Santa Claus parade on the 17th. The parade concludes at the mall and the prizes will be awarded on the Collins Craft Fair stage.

The entrance fee is $5 with a dollar off the admission fee with the donation of a non-perishable food item for the Amherst Food Bank.

“With this being the centre of the Maritimes you will draw people from Moncton, from Prince Edward Island, Truro and Halifax,” Warner said. “It’s a great opportunity to have a significant fair here.”

Warner said the mall has made 21,000 square feet of space available for the fair. He is expecting more than 70 Maritime exhibitors featuring painting, photography, crafts, sculpting, jewelry, greeting cards, fibre products, woodworking, seascape crafts, scale boats, antiques, food and more.

He said 52 booth spaces have been booked to date while there will also be a food village, two play areas for children and live music featuring Pete Frenette, RA Lautenschlager and Slim Pickens.

There will also be a Santa Village with photos of children and Santa Claus, a wrapping station run by the air cadets a silent auction and numerous contests.

Sponsors include the mall, Archway Insurance, Sobeys, Canadian Tire, Acadian Printing, Home Hardware and the Travel Store. Partners include the Cumberland Hospice Palliative Care Society, CFTA-Tantramar Community Radio and Avro Anson 154 Air Cadet Squadron and the Amherst Artisan Gallery.

“We’re excited to work with our other community partners to bring the inaugural Collins Christmas Craft Fair to the mall and we hope to continue to work with the Amherst Artisans Gallery and Amherst Centre Mall to promote the exhibition centre for large events,” said Lisa Emery, president of the CFTA board of directors.

darrell.cole@amherstnews.ca

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

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