Arts, crafts abound at Bald Eagle Area holiday fair

bmilazzo@centredaily.comNovember 30, 2013 

— On most weekends, Bald Eagle Area Middle-High School would be closed.

But on Saturday, the annual Bald Eagle Area Fall Craft and Gift Fair made its way to the school with more than 100 Pennsylvania-based vendors that offered arts, crafts and gifts.

Proceeds benefit the Bald Eagle Area junior class, student government and the Spanish Club.

“It’s really an all student-run event,” said Andrea Simpson, Spanish teacher and Spanish Club adviser. “The students are completely invested in getting the event put together and organized.”

Freshman Kayla O’Leary, 14, said that students began setting up for the fair late Friday night and early Saturday morning.

With no fundraising goal in mind, Simpson said the fair would bring in at least $2,500. She said the Spanish Club sells spaces to vendors at $25 each. Once the spaces are filled and money is paid, the total is split between the three organizations.

Simpson said the Spanish Club took over the event about five years ago after the craft sale once benefited S.A.D.D. — Students Against Destructive Decisions.

“It’s a lot of fun and helps the club pay for trips and other expenses,” said Michelle Kachik, 17, a senior who’s been in the club since eight grade.

The fair has been a BEA tradition for at least two decades.

Three years ago, Ann Taylor began setting up a stand at the fair to promote Bald Eagle Valley Alpaca Ranch in Union Township.

This year she was selling dozens of teddy bears, socks and other items that used alpaca fleece.

Taylor, a social studies teacher in the Bald Eagle Area School District, got into the alpaca farming business with her husband, Jim, seven years ago as a way to keep herself busy and as stress relief from other day-to-day work.

Now with 44 alpacas, her family stings its own yarn and makes other items from alpaca fiber.

“It’s something we really enjoy,” Taylor said. “And now we’re able to show off some of what we do.”

Britney Milazzo can be reached at 231-4648. Follow her on Twitter @ M11azzo.

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