Clarion’s annual Crafters and Farmer’s Day event took place this past Friday, Sept. 30, and many local businesses and Clarion University organizations participated, as well as vendors from surrounding communities.
Main Street was closed for the event, and thousands of people flocked to purchase items from vendors from all over Pa. Goods of all kinds were sold, including clothes for American Girl Dolls, homemade shirts and hats, jewelry and much more. While the booths and tables attracted many community members and families, university students were also among the visitors. According to multiple students that attended, the most popular booth that was set up was Patti’s Pastries. “I bought a massive stuffed cupcake at Patti’s Pastries and it was amazing,” recalled student Emily Griggs. Nathan Williams, another student, said, “I definitely think the most popular booth was the cupcake booth. Almost everyone I know got one!”
The Clarion University Chamber Singers, who recently returned from its two-week trip to Europe for an international singing competition, were also present at the Crafter’s Day festivities. Student members of the choir alternated shifts standing at the table and taking donations, as well as interacting with other students and community members as they passed by. The Chamber Singers were selling hot tea and coffee, as well as many different flavors of iced tea. Homemade baked goods were also being sold, including brownies, cake pops and pumpkin snickerdoodles (a play on the popular pumpkin spice craze).
According to Megan Blashford, a senior alto in the group, this kind of experience is essential if the Chamber Singers want to continue participating in competitions and partaking in other exciting endeavors. “I knew that making an appearance at the largest event in Clarion
County was something we really ought to take advantage of and would result in social and financial gains,” she said.
The group was hoping to raise money through the bake sale and also by collecting donations, and the choir’s director, Dr. Stephen Johnson, hopes that these donations will help them to achieve the goal of returning to the Wales competition in three years and taking first place. “Continuing the momentum of the group after the trip and networking, along with raising funds for the next big thing is important to us, whatever that next big thing is.” Blashford added, “Having the bake sale really showed the public that we truly enjoy connecting with others, both on and off stage.” Students engaged with many of the Crafter’s Day attendees, and the choir quickly sold out of most of its baked goods.
Overall, the Crafters Day events were successful for not only the Clarion University Chamber Singers, but the event itself. The Chamber Singers hope to return to next year’s Crafters Day, and perhaps have not only alternating shifts for working the table, but also an alternating group of singers to entertain crowds and attract attention to its group’s booth.