LF Arts and Crafts Fair will include new ‘Market Place Fair’

For the first time, Chamber opens Fair to vendors with products that are not handmade

By Terry Lehrke, News Editor
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For the past 39 years, the Little Falls Arts and Crafts Fair has allowed only those vendors showcasing handcrafted items to be a part of the event.

In this, its 40th year, the Fair will, for the first time in its history, offer a spot for those vendors who buy and then sell items. Examples given were products such as Tupperware, Avon, lia sophia, and Tastefully Simple.

Monday, Debra Boelz, president and CEO of the Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce that sponsors the event,  told the City Council the new leg of the Fair will be called “Market Place Fair.” It will be staged on West Broadway. Boelz said the addition was in response to requests for such an area at the Fair.

Boelz presented an application to the Council for the license to hold the Fair Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 8 – 9.

This year, the Chamber expects 500 arts and craft vendors; 40 market place vendors and 45 food and beverage vendors.

Another first in the Fair’s history — Sylvia Ryden, who retired from the Chamber last year, will not be coordinating the event, said Boelz.

The Chamber’s license application estimated 120,000 people will attend the two-day event.

Also on hand Monday evening was Deb Retka, a member of the West Side Improvement Association (WSIA) seeking approval for a license for its West Little Falls Antiques and Collectibles Fair on the Mississippi River. This fair, now in its 10th year, will also be held Friday and Saturday, Sept. 8 – 9, on the banks of the Mississippi in Le Bourget Park.

The WSIA-sponsored antiques and collectibles fair is expected to draw 100 vendors. About 85,000 people are expected to visit the antiques and collectibles fair, according to the license application. No handmade or arts and crafts items are allowed in this fair, keeping it strictly as an antiques and collectibles showcase.

Both events will run from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8, and from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 9.

The Council approved the licenses for both fairs, which are traditionally held the first weekend after Labor Day each year.