CARTERVILLE -- Thousands of shoppers packed the John A. Logan College campus over the past weekend looking for a bargain at the 44th Annual AutumnFest Arts & Crafts Show.
That put a big smile on the face of the event's coordinator, Adrienne Barkley Giffin, Associate Dean of Student Activities at the Carterville college.
The cool, crisp, and sunny weather on Saturday and Sunday no doubt helped entice shoppers to the indoor event. Even with a perfect fall day, Giffin was not really surprised at the great turnout. "Actually this is almost ideal weather for our show," she said. "Add to that another record number of exhibitors and we have another great show."
Now in her thirteenth year as coordinator of AutumnFest, Giffin said the show once again had no empty booth space. "We filled every spot," she said. "We have a total of 132 exhibitors and a long waiting list of those who would like to participate."
DiAnne Hill of New Burnside is a regular at the event, her booth filled with blankets, bears, and other handmade items Hill creates. "This is my twelfth year participating in AutumnFest," she said. "I love doing this show!"
Like most anything, eventually change becomes part of the process and Giffin said that AutumnFest is no exception. "We always seem to have a great mix of exhibitors, some who have been here from the beginning along with those who offer items featuring the latest trends," she said. Giffin said that skin care and food are perfect examples. "Those have really become popular with vendors and shoppers alike."
Jane Terry and her daughter, Anne, paused to shop at David Hammond's booth near the entrance of the John A. Logan College Gym on Saturday. Hammond's display booths featured a nice selection of landscape, wildlife, and scenic photography. "I just love Hammond's photographs and often buy them for gifts," said Terry.
Hammond's booth was packed with a wide array of his award-winning photographs most often featuring the variety of wildlife and scenery that is so pervasive in southern Illinois.
He has been a show regular for the past twenty years and said he loves the response he gets from shoppers. "This is a special show," he said. "I always sell a lot of photographs here."
With prices ranging from $25 for an 8" x 10" color print up to $400 for one of his larger images, Hammond said he does have a favorite.
"The next one I take," he said with a grin.