Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Arlington Church's 35th Annual Arts and Crafts Festival Draws Hundreds

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Arlington Church's 35th Annual Arts and Crafts Festival Draws Hundreds

Article excerpt


Giving back to the local and global community was the purpose behind Arlington United Methodist Church's recent 35th annual Arts and Crafts Festival.

"All money raised by the festival goes for missionary projects here in Jacksonville and the rest of the world," said Elaine Bailey, co-chairwoman of the church's festival committee. "In addition to supporting the church's worldwide missions, money is donated to area homeless shelters and food banks."

The annual arts and crafts festival was started 35 years ago by the church's Women's Club, said Janie Register, the festival's second co-chairwoman.

"It's a good way for the church to give back to the community."

About 500 people visited the church grounds for this year's fest during its five-hour run. Bailey helped kick things off by donning a gaily colored clown suit to wave to passersby as they drove or walked by.

"I was the church secretary for 25 years," she said. "And when I first started work back in 1963, I never imagined that I would one day be doing this for the fun of it."

About 50 crafters had booths that were scattered throughout the exterior grounds and interior auditorium of the church for the six-hour-long festival.

Traditional Christmas ornaments, baked goods, hand-stitched clothing for people and dolls were just a few of the crafts that were on display and sale for festgoers.

Crafters paid a $20 registration fee for their booths, Register said.

"They keep all the money they earn at the festival. Only the registration fee goes to funding missionary work."

The Women's Club also earns money for local and global missionary work through sales of a self-published cookbook and by selling homemade canned beef vegetable soup, pickles and strawberry preserves.

"The beef vegetable soup is made in our canning kitchen and is one of our most popular festival items," Bailey said. "It sells out rather quickly, within the first hour of the festival. …

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