Handworks craft fair a success

LIHU’E — “They were lining up from about 8 this morning,” Kevin Matsunaga said.

Matsunaga, the head of the Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School video program, was one of the vendors at the Kaua’i Handworks craft fair held at the Wilcox Elementary School cafeteria. He said the line snaked around the building from the entrance, and almost reached the end of the building.

Vicky Ramos, one of the spearheads for the annual offering, said she was pleased with the turnout, noting that she got an application Friday night, and was up at 5 a.m. to set up a table for the late entry.

Noticing the line that was being doused by a passing shower, Ramos was ready to open the doors shortly before the scheduled opening, but her granddaughter, Moani Genegabuas, told her, “No, have three minutes left.”

Shoppers surged in the entrance when the doors finally opened, and for the greater part of the morning, traffic between the aisles was heavy.

Ramos noted that this fair is special because it features not only craft items, but also works from local artists that people can browse through.

Another facet that drove people in was the gray and rainy skies that greeted Saturday morning.

One shopper noted that she always comes to this fair because she is looking to fill her holiday list with items that you cannot find in the stores.

However, she noted that several of the “regular” vendors were absent due to their participation in craft fairs taking place on O’ahu.

Matsunaga and his video team were working, but not doing their usual video-production work. This time, they manned a table offering soft drinks for shoppers as a means of raising funds for a planned trip to California, where Matsunaga said they will be attending a student-broadcasters conference.

Genegabuas took time out to model one of her Grandma Ramos’ new creations for this year: a holiday rucksack, which is a crocheted carryall that people can wear around their necks.

Then, it was time for Genegabuas to get ready to perform as part of the Kalaheo Sunshine Express at the 12th annual Kukui Grove Center Christmas Parade.

Ramos said she will also be on hand at the Kaua’i Museum’s Christmas Craft Fair, which runs this Friday, Dec. 2, from 10 a.m.

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