Credit: NHS Craft Fair

Fall craft fairs signal the start of gift-giving season and the chance to find one-of-a-kind items from local artists and craft makers. In Needham the tradition began 40 years ago as a benefit for Needham High School, and it continues Saturday with the Artisan Craft Fair and Bake Sale. 

The NHS gyms will become a marketplace of handmade goods from 100 vendors offering original creations ranging from jewelry and pottery to fabric designs and clothing, paper goods, soaps, candles, specialty foods and more.

It’s the largest fundraiser held by the Parent Teacher Council, which this year hopes to raise $15,000 to enhance opportunities for NHS students. 

“The PTC leadership works with the NHS principal and administrative staff to determine how to allocate the funds, with a heavy emphasis on selecting programs and support that will help the broadest base of the NHS community,” said Shanna Deng, craft fair co-chair. The funds will go toward scholarships and student enrichment opportunities, including books for the media center and discretionary funds for guidance, she said.

Students can volunteer at the fair and earn community service hours, and also learn about the craft business. “It’s cool for the kids to see entrepreneurs in a different kind of career,” said Deng. 

She and co-chair Beth McCarthy aimed for a mix of artisans with items that appeal to all ages, and specifically sought out crafters from Needham. About half of the vendors are return participants.  

The bake sale is an additional enticement with a wide assortment of treats including  cakes, pies, cookies, muffins, brownies and more donated by home bakers, local restaurants, bakeries and cafes.

This year there is no admission fee. “It is an opportunity to celebrate Massachusetts and local area vendors, to buy handmade gifts for the seasons coming up,” said Deng. “We’re excited to be here for the community.”

The Artisan Craft Fair and Bake Sale is open from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28 at Needham High School.

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