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Ryderwood sees bumper turnout at 10th annual Arts & Crafts Fair

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Patrons and vendors from around the area were on hand during the 10th annual Ryderwood Arts & Crafts Fair last weekend, which saw the greatest number of vendors participating since the event began in 2004.

The 10th annual Ryderwood Arts & Crafts Fair saw a record turnout of vendors last weekend as the seasonal event continues to grow in regional popularity.

Organizers reported 41 vendors had participated last Friday and Saturday, twice as many as had signed up five years ago, with handmade items from decorations to greeting cards to musical instruments and more.

"This is fantastic," said organizer Norma Mueller of the participation, stating she had encountered many vendors from areas such as Longview and Kelso as well as Chehalis and Centralia, and other areas further away.

Mueller said this year also saw the largest turnout of new vendors to the craft fair, stating 10 new vendors were attending the craft fair for the first time this year.

"This is the best turnout we've ever had," she said.

Also new this year was a quilt show in the Ryderwood Café, featuring dozens of quilts from local craftspeople, including one in particular crafted by a group of ladies in Ryderwood in 1935 and returned to the community just this year.

Quilt Show Organizer Meredith Zwiefelhofer said the quilt had previously been on display at the Castle Rock Exhibit Hall and was returned to Ryderwood after the Exhibit Hall closed earlier this year, adding the quilt will eventually remain on public display at the Ryderwood Auditorium.

Zwiefelhofer said she also expects the quilt show will be retuning next year as well as efforts continue to create broader appeal for the craft fair.

Mueller also said next year should feature a car show, though in the spring rather than the fall because of the likelihood of inclement weather. She said a car show had been organized for this year as the clear October weather continued to hold out, but the day of the car show it rained persistently and only one brave car owner managed to participate.

Plans are now under way for next year's Arts & Crafts Fair, which is expected to continue expanding as well. For more information on how to become involved, as well as about the Spring Arts & Crafts Fair in just a matter of months, call Mueller at (360) 295-3672.

For those seeking out crafts but unable to make it to the fair, The Nest is open again for business after recent renovations, featuring the handiwork of Ryderwood residents year-round. The shop is located just across the street from the Ryderwood Café and current hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., while they will also be open the same hours Monday and Tuesday during the two weeks before Christmas. For more information, call (360) 295-3995.

Many seasonal gifts were available at the fair, as well as items useful for all times of year.

The Nest, Ryderwood's year-round source of local crafts, was also open during the fair.

A quilt show at the Ryderwood Café featured locally-crafted pieces--some as old as eight decades--and is expected to become a regular feature of the annual craft fair.

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