Thousands braved icy roads and early morning snow squalls to visit the Saline Spring Craft Show at Saline Middle School Sunday morning. Organizers say the early morning crowds were a little lighter than normal because of the weather. But as road conditions improved but low temperatures and blustery wind remained, the popular spring craft show in a warm gymnasium became a more inviting idea.
Cheryl Hoeft, the retired Saline High School home-ec teacher, founded the Saline craft shows and still manages them today. She reported there were 150 vendors from seven different states at Saturday’s show. And there could have been more. The Saline Craft Show is popular among crafters and artisans. Hoeft uses that popularity for the betterment of the show.
“We had a 25 percent increase in the number of applicants to get into the show. So, vendors are competitive,” Hoeft said. “We can pick and choose the best, like a coach picks their team.”
Keith and Becky Rife count themselves as fortunate to be regulars at the Saline shows. They own Great Country Florals, a 37-year-old business that makes a wide array of arrangements using artificial florals. Keith Rife said he and his wife have been coming to the Saline show for nearly a decade – and the fall show a little longer. They used to do 35 shows a year. Semi-retired, they’ve scaled back to less than 10 shows a year. But they’re still excited to make the two-hour drive from Paw Paw to Saline for the spring show.
“It’s an excellent show. It’s always our best spring show. It’s very well attended. It’s just a good event, all the way around. It’s very well organized,” Rife said. “We could ask for anything more.”
Improved lighting in the Saline Middle School gymnasium made the colorful spring crafts look even more vibrant this year.
Patrons shopped for jewelry, home décor and clothing, taking breaks so their children could take pictures with the giant bunny, or be drawn by caricaturist Debra Adamcik.
The annual show is also a fundraiser for the many school groups and teams which assist customers and organizers at the craft show.