Edwardsville Band Boosters Craft Fair in Collinsville

EDWARDSVILLE – The 28th Annual Edwardsville High School Marching Tigers Craft Fair will be held November 13-14 at the Gateway Center in Collinsville.

The event usually takes place at EHS, but due to the pandemic it has been moved to a larger space. The fair is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, November 13 and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, November 14.

According to EHS Band Booster Advertising President Adrienne Linden, the craft fair historically raises around $ 50,000 and is the largest fundraiser for the EHS Marching Tigers Band program.

This year, the group placed fifth out of 42 groups in the state, an academic record.

The Band Boosters were able to host the Tiger Ambush Classic walking competition in September, but all of its major fundraising events – the Tiger Ambush Classic, Glow Bingo, and the Craft Fair – were canceled last year by the pandemic.

The funds raised are used to pay the rights to the music used during the band’s marching and concert seasons, as well as to buy or repair instruments and equipment, acquire materials to make props, buy costumes, Color flags and other equipment for the team of guards and update uniforms to match the theme of the show. The funds also cover transportation costs for the movement of students and equipment to and from events, entry fees to competitions and any additional personnel costs during the walking season.

“The group was forced to use a large portion of its reserves in order to keep the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 band program operational,” Linden said. “The group just cannot support another quality season for the students or the community without this important fundraiser. “

Linden said the craft fair typically attracts around 5,000 people. Many attendees are regulars due to the quality of craftsmanship available at reasonable prices.

“It’s a great way to start holiday shopping,” Linden said.

Band Boosters vice president and craft fair chair Lynette Watson said there will be fewer sellers than in the past, but the group still expects around 275 sellers.

Watson said the variety of vendors will be the same as in past events. One of the new vendors at this year’s Craft Fair makes creatures called Ookaloos.

“They even have adorable accessories at their disposal. The kids will love them, ”Watson said.

Some suppliers specialize in intricate woodworking and, according to Watson, others are recycling “on a whole new level.” Washington Kettle Corn will also be featured at the fair.

“The space setup is a bit different from what was held at EHS, so we’re delighted that there are as many spaces available as there were,” Linden said.

The change of venue came when school officials informed Band Boosters that the size of the craft fair and expected attendance would not meet CDC and state safety guidelines.

“Frankly, the hands of the district were tied,” Linden said. She added that with the support of the school district, the Band Boosters had about a week to find another location and learned that the Gateway Center was available for the scheduled dates.

“Knowing that this is a major fundraiser and the desperate situation we found ourselves in, the owners of the center were very generous and supported the EHS group,” said Linden. Still, Linden said, the move comes with unexpected additional costs, which prompted the Band Boosters to step up their promotion of the craft fair.

Linden said it takes about a year for Band Boosters to organize and prepare for the annual event. A committee reviews supplier requests, tracks the status and fees of each supplier, and communicates updates to rules and regulations.

“The EHS Craft Fair enjoys such a high reputation with the craft and craft community that there is a waiting list,” said Linden. “The artisans are carefully selected for the quality of their products. “

The committee also takes care of volunteers for the event and seeks help from parents. Band and Color Guard students are required to work at the Craft Fair to assist with set-up and tear-down and handle questions and concessions from attendees.

“We are delighted to host the Craft Show after a year off,” said Linden.

Admission is $ 4 for adults, $ 3 for seniors and veterans, and free for children 12 and under. Tickets will be available at the door. Due to state guidelines, masks must be worn inside the building at all times and strollers are not permitted.

About Marco C. Nichols

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