Crafters gear up for second annual show

Organizers of the Seaside Craft Show had their fingers crossed last year in June, with the first edition of the Bethany Beach boardwalk event. But they were blessed with fine weather and a better-than-expected turnout, marking the event’s inaugural edition as a genuine blowout success.

This year, they’ve got less reason to worry about craft lovers finding their way to the June 3 show, in its sophomore edition, though the weather forecast still has the Cultural and Historical Affairs Committee and its craft-show subcommittee crossing their fingers for sunny summer weather on Saturday.

But the event will go off rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., town Events Coordinator Gloria Farrar affirmed in the week leading up to the culmination of the year-long endeavor for the organizers.

The crafters will line up along the town’s boardwalk again this year, from Parkwood to Central, and on the street ends at the tips of Garfield Parkway and Campbell Place, adjacent to the boardwalk. That’s the big change from last year, forced by the ongoing and somewhat delayed renovation of the town’s boardwalk bandstand.

“We apologize for the inconvenience,” Farrar said, “but the show will go on.”

Indeed, Farrar said the change might prove to be somewhat of a plus. “It’s actually a little more spread out. There will be an easier shoppers’ flow. And they’ll have another area to go to.”

That may be good news, with the tremendous turnout of crafters who eagerly signed up for the show’s second year. They submitted applications starting immediately after the inaugural show and were reviewed by a jury of organizers who aimed to make sure the crafts offered at the show were truly in the category of “fine crafts.” The goal there was to raise the show’s profile and parallel the show of fine art put on in the same location by the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce in each fall.

“Almost 100 crafters have signed up,” Farrar noted.

With that number, they’ll offer a variety of items ranging from hand-painted slates, cobblestones and recycled windows; to hand-carved wooden birds and decoys; decorative fish, turtles and mermaids; photography; polymer clay sea creatures in the form of decorative items and jewelry; and fiber arts pieces.

“There’s one lady that has very intricate, beautiful pillow designs,” Farrar said, also mentioning hand-made fiber Santa Clauses in that category.

“And there’s a good representation of jewelry,” Farrar emphasized, as well as blown and other types of decorative and functional glass from local glass studio Melting Pot.

The area’s non-profit groups will also get into the act for the boardwalk on Saturday.

St. Ann’s Catholic Church will raffle a hand-made quilt. The Interfaith Mission of Sussex County will be offering hand-made, one-of-a-kind house pins. The Bethany Town Cats group will be selling cookbooks, T-shirts and kitten products, as well as offering cats for adoption.

The Friends of the South Coastal Library will be selling tickets to their annual Beach and Bay Cottage Tour, set for July 26 and 27, as well as raffle tickets for art giveaways related to that event.

The town’s Fourth of July Parade Committee will offer T-shirts commemorating the patriotic event, as part of ongoing fundraising efforts that help carry off the parade.

The Lord Baltimore Lions Club will show off a new car, with raffle tickets for sale to those who might hope to win the vehicle. And the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company will offer chances on another form of shiny new transportation — the Harley Davidson motorcycle they’re raffling this year to help support the company’s ongoing equipment and capital needs.

St. Martha’s Episcopal Church will also offer baked goods, as has become the custom, letting show-goers add homemade baked goods to their list of boardwalk indulgences this weekend.

Those browsing the craft booths will get plenty of chance to work off any calories gained from brownies and boardwalk fries, as they work their way from craft to craft and booth to booth this Saturday.

They can then opt to finish out their weekend with even more calories, as the Taste of Coastal Delaware offers local culinary treats the following day, Sunday, June 4, at the nearby Market Place at Sea Colony.