There will be plenty of seasonal and year-round gifts on sale this weekend at the 23rd Annual SoHi Arts and Crafts Fair.
With more than 35 vendor booths set up for the public, the event will take place at Soldotna High School on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is designed to raise funds for the Soldotna High football team, which has won seven straight Division II state championships.
“There’s a lot of handmade items. It started out all handmade,” said event organizer Annette Weigel. “There’s some stuff for everybody. The cheerleaders will be running their concession stand and there will be a lot of artists, but most all of it is handmade.”
Weigel has worked with Karen Williamson in helping organize the event for more than 20 years and said the team traditionally helps set up the event, while Weigel and Williamson line up vendors and schedule the best weekend for it to take place.
Weigel said there typically is a bigger crowd on Saturday, but that leaves Sunday for those who want to browse without the crowd.
“We have a lot of fun there,” Weigel said. “I enjoy it.”
The fair will be set up in the SoHi commons area, a space the Weigel said has accommodated in past years 35 to 40 separate vendors, many of whom are local artists who produce crafts as a side business. She added that many of the creations are holiday related, giving interested parties a perfect opportunity to get some early Christmas shopping done.
The event began as a fundraiser for the school PTA, but the football program eventually took the reigns and sponsored the event. SoHi head football coach Galen Brantley Jr. said the event typically raises more than $2,000 for the team, much of which goes to fund travel expenses. Brantley said the Stars’ 2019 schedule includes an out-of-state contest, the first for the Stars since playing in Crescent City, California, in fall 2017.