Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tioga Downs fills its floors with crafts

Courtesy of the Towanda Daily Review:

NICHOLS, N.Y. - On Friday and Saturday, craft and jewelry makers from around the Southern Tier of New York and Pennsylvania gathered at Tioga Downs to setup tables with items for sale that ranged from paintings and dolls, to pet wares and holiday decor.

Organized between Erica Miller, group sales executive at Tioga Downs, and Julie Rose, a crafter from Endicott, N.Y., the event offered guests at Tioga Downs an opportunity to browse through items that are handmade within the region.

Out of the ordinary at the craft fair were Matryoshka dolls, or painted wooden nesting dolls, that were created by Igor Kulagin of Scranton, Pa. Kulagin, who was born in the city of Kiev, the capital of the Ukraine in the former Soviet Union, was accompanied by his wife Kim at the show. The two met in Russia in 1992 when Kim was working in Moscow as a tour guide.

According to Kim, the two travel to do approximately 25 craft shows a year. They also have a shop in their home located in downtown Scranton, near Steamtown Mall
And right next to the craft table for Igor's Russian Art Gallery was that of Pat Ortega of Endicott, N.Y. Ortego designs products for animals that include collars, leashes and toys, and tries to get to about five shows a year.

And according to Miller from Tioga Downs, the craft fair was a way to gain further community involvement. The facility recently finished off a food drive to benefit CHOW, and then followed it up by bringing craft vendors into their facility. The show, according to Miller, was the first of its kind held at the facility and attracted approximately 17 vendors each day.

"We hope to do more of these," added Miller.

Julie Rose of Endicott, N.Y. brought the idea to Miller, and had hopes on Saturday of donating proceeds from the sale of a small hanging quilt with horses to local charities. The intent, according to Rose, was to raffle the hanging quilt - but she later decided to sell it, and donate from its sale instead.

According to the crafters who brought their wares to Tioga Downs on Friday and Saturday, the sales were slowed because of weather on Friday, but picked up a bit more on Saturday.