Annual craft show brings many to Reed City High School

REED CITY – More than 100 booths filled Reed City High School over the weekend during at the Annual Arts and Crafts Show held at the school. Attendees could find everything from crocheted and knitted items, to homemade candles, necklaces, baked goods, wood furniture and holiday décor.

“We have been here before and it’s always a good show,” said Linda Bechaz, who attended the event with long-time friend, Anne Best. “We haven’t been here in a couple of years and we just needed to get out of the house.”

Both ladies said they were surprised at the variety of items available. “There are some real quality things here,” Bechaz said. “And some different things than you will find at other craft shows and a really, really good variety.” “We stayed away for a number of years but we thought we’d try it again,” Best added. “The quality is much better and there is so much talent. We are finding things we didn’t know we’d find.” Kathy Wicke set a table up at the show to sell items made and grown at her farm in Osceola County. “We raise chemical-and pesticide-free produce,” Wicke said. “I also make handmade candles and aromatherapy wraps and mittens. We also have fresh greens. We make wreaths at the farm and we offer people to come in and make their own wreaths or we can make them to order.” Wicke has been at the Reed City show before and said she enjoys the event. “It’s been very nice and friendly and it’s a nice atmosphere,” she said. Dan DeGraw brought many handmade ceramic items to sell at the arts and crafts show. He makes them with his wife, Joyce. “I’ve been doing it for years – ever since I retired from truck driving,” DeGraw said. “I was a diesel mechanic. My wife was doing ceramics and craft shows for awhile. We’ve got one more left this year still.” DeGraw purchases many of the products he needs in the U.S. “I get all my clay from Indiana,” he said. “The glitter we get from Kansas. We go all over the county looking for different things.” Markeen Gillette, of Scottville, filled her table with spice and drink mixes, handmade purses, baklava and other sweet snacks. Baklava, she said, is a top seller. “It’s hard to find, and when you find it it’s usually in a big city,” Gillette said. “Not many people want to make it because it’s a lot of work. I like to make it.” Preparing for the arts and crafts show was a family affair, she added. “I have seven children,” she said. “Six of them are sons. They all help me make it. It’s a lot of fun because we get to do it as a family at home. Then I come here, because I’m more social than the boys are.” Gillette grew up in Reed City, and said there is something special about coming home. “It’s nice to socialize and see what else is going on,” she said.