A Southern Oklahoma autumn tradition will be taking over Hardy Murphy Coliseum next weekend when the Carter County Arts and Crafts Fair returns for the 48th year. The event runs all day Friday and Saturday, and 225 booths will be set up selling a wide range of crafts, snacks and much more.
The event is hosted by the Carter County Oklahoma Association for Home and Community Education, and Publicity Chairman Kay Seeliger said that in spite of the event’s longevity, it’s essentially been the same group of people running the show the entire time. In fact, Seeliger and one other member have been a part of the show from the very beginning.
“We first started out in 1972 in the south room and I think we only had about 13 or 14 booths at the time, but it was a huge success and people loved it. It’s just kept growing and now it takes up all three wings and the entire arena,” Seeliger said. “We also have five food trucks outside, and they’ll be bringing all kinds of good things to eat.”
Seeliger said vendors will be coming from all over the state of Oklahoma and surrounding states to be a part of the event, and each booth will be the home of unique items.
“Everybody always asks what's going to be there, but the truth is you never really know! It’s just like opening up a Christmas gift once all the booths get set up and you take a look at all they have,” Seeliger said. “But there’s definitely going to be lots of clothing and jewelry and a lot of food — roasted nuts, flavored popcorn and kettle corn — and decorative shirts for fall and Christmas.
She said over the years she’s seen entire families grow up and expand as they come to the craft fair, and some of the original vendor booths are now run by their adult grandchildren.
“I feel like we’re doing something for the community, and it feels good to have an event that everybody enjoys,” Seeliger said. “It’s just a really fun social event where you can find things you can’t get anywhere else.”
The 48th annual Carter County Arts and Crafts Festival and Food Fair will be at Hardy Murphy Coliseum from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, November 8, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, November 9. Parking is $3 with all parking proceeds going to benefit Carter County 4-H. Admission to the event is free. For more information visit Facebook.com/ArtsAndCraftsFestivalAndFoodFair.