This weekend, the Friends of the Harborfields Public Library will host their tenth annual holiday craft fair.
The Holiday Craft Fair began in 2009 when a group of artists approached the Friends about reserving a space. “The library has several meeting rooms, so the Friends took this opportunity to reach out to local artisans to fill the remaining rooms and hallways with additional vendors,” adult programming coordinator, Susan Hope, explained.
The event has grown significantly from its initial handful of vendors; this year’s event will feature nearly 50 local artisans. The creations displayed and for sale are all hand-crafted. “[The fair] is only open to vendors who create unique one-of-a-kind gifts and home decor,” Hope said. “All of our vendors offer high quality merchandise and specialty foods, and [they] stand behind their products.”
Among these vendors is Harborfields graduate Dylan Thompson. Thompson has Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), which weakens his muscles to the point of not being able to use them. “I stopped walking when I was in 5th grade,” Thompson writes on his website. “ Today, I cannot lift my arms above my shoulders … I have very little use of basically every muscle in my body except for my hands.” Despite these limits, Thomspon still finds ways to pursue his passion for art. He uses digital tools like Photoshop to manipulate nimages he hand drew, and to create new pieces altogether. “[He] has an abundant amount of artistic talent that he uses to create beautiful, colorful greeting cards,” Hope said, adding that Thompson’s work also aims to bring awareness to this debilitating disease to encourage research and funding for a cure.
The Care to Knit organization— a non-profit that knits items throughout the year to donate to hospitals for heart patients, cancer patients, and premature babies—will also have items for sale at the craft fair. All profits from their craft fair sales will go toward mailing expenses when sending their donations to various Long Island hospitals.
Hope also spoke about the value of Friends’ events like this one. “The Friends of the Library is a non-profit organization that raises money to support the library with funding for things not part of the library’s operating budget,” she said. “All of the money raised by the Friends that is gifted to the library benefits the entire community.”
The holiday craft fair’s doors will open at 9 AM on Friday and Saturday.