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Co-Op Craft Fair returns to IHS

The smell of scented bath products, candles, barbeque, and pumpkin pie filled the air at the Ironton High School Sports Center during the 16th Ironton Cooperative Club Craft Fair.

"We have a wonderful crowd, and we couldn't ask for more," club member Virginia Bryant said.

From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and again on Sunday, the gymnasium was filled with 52 booths with people selling items such as ceramics, quilts, and seasonal T-shirts. The crafters' booth fees, and money raised at the club's cafe and bake sale will go to the club's education fund, which provides for scholarships and educational activities at local schools.

One of the fair's biggest attractions was appraisals done by Porky Nichols, who donated his time. Peggy McGuire, a club member, had two antique rings and a bracelet made in Alaska appraised.

"He's a fantastic mainstay," McGuire said. "He's a tremendous draw at the fair."

Ashland, Ky., resident Mia Sutton had a ceramics booth at the fair and said the people attending have been really nice.

"I've been making these since I was five years old," she said. "My grandmother had a shop. It relaxes me. I love being able to make a white tree instead of a green one."

Not all attractions at the fair were for grown-ups.

Deering resident Heidi Clark had her face painted and wore a hat made of balloons that was nearly three-feet high.

"I'd rather work with kids than adults," she said as she was getting ready to paint someone's face while two girls played with balloons nearby. "They have a better sense of humor."

"I like the big balloons," Taylor Reber, 8, of Russell, Ky. said. "You can hit people on the head with them. They look like hot dogs, too."

Mary Frances Near, a teacher at Ironton High School came to the craft fair.

"As an educator, I see how the Co-Op Club's scholarships have helped the kids in our system."

Near brought her daughter Rachel, a second-year OSU student who was visiting this weekend.

"This is a nice way to spend a Saturday afternoon," she said. "It's very friendly and hometown."

"We're having fun having everyone come together and sell crafts," Lora Zerkle, club president and festival chairwoman said. "We just want to thank those who came because we wouldn't have this without their support."