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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Wives were able to drag their husbands away from the television for at least a few hours this weekend.

An estimated 15,000 people took a break from football to peruse the more than 200 booths at Craft Festival 2009 in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center on Saturday and Sunday.

Christmas music played in the background while 258 crafters sold handmade goods ranging from Christmas ornaments and magnetic picture frames to gourmet dog treats and painted piggy banks.

Buyers packed both levels of the O’Connell Center and stopped to chat with vendors.

Renee Musson, the festival’s co-coordinator, said this was the 17th year the festival was held in the O’Connell Center. She said it has been held on campus for more than 50 years.

Musson said it is held every year around the same time to give people an opportunity to do some Christmas shopping.

“We were looking to find really quality gifts for people in Gainesville that they wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else,” Musson said.

Attendee Chris Schreiber said she liked the friendly atmosphere of the festival.

“It’s quite enjoyable just to walk around,” she said. “I can make two or three loops [around the festival] and never see the same thing twice.”

Heather Price, who sold handmade baby bibs and burp cloths in the show, said this was her first year participating.

“I had a friend and I gave her some of my stuff as a gift and she suggested I come here because she comes here every year and loves it,” Price said.

Price said a number of people stopped to browse the pastel-colored bags and blankets at her “Simply Baby” booth.

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She said she was impressed with the number of different types of crafts for sale.

“From what I’ve seen, it’s quite a mix,” Price said.

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