COLUMBUS – A meek entrance to March – predictions of temperatures in the 60s under sunny skies this weekend – makes for a snug fit with the name of an annual rite of the season that draws dozens of craft vendors to the 30 Center Mall.

Vendor tables with craft displays line the indoor mall’s walls and center aisles, giving visitors plenty of room to view a variety of hand-crafted items and other distinctive products at the two-day Spring Fling Creative Crafters Craft Show.

“That’ll be nice (if the forecasters are right),” said Sharon Pohlman of Columbus, owner of Creative Crafters Promotion, the host business of the 18th annual spring event.

Show vendors began converging on the mall today, coming from Omaha, Grand Island, Central City, Bartlett and Belleville, Kan. About 50 are expected overall.

The annual fling, which has been greeted by cold winds, snow and ice some years, opens at 9 a.m. Saturday and wraps up at about 5 p.m. On Sunday, the show will be open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Some of the vendors, which include crafters who display distinctive handmade items that can provide that out-of-the-ordinary, offbeat gift idea and home-based businesses selling specialty items (Tupperware, Wakins seasonings and extracts), from the farthest distances began setting up in the mall on Friday afternoon and evening.

“The rest show up Saturday to set up,” said Pohlman, adding a couple of vendors have attended 16 previous craft flings and most have been on hand for at least 10 over the years.

“I see a lot of familiar faces among those attending the show every year,” Pohlman said.

Admission to the craft fling is free.

This year’s list of display items includes hand-made items such as scarves, shawls, blankets, towels and appliance covers. Those crafts might be next to a booth selling custom-designed artwork featuring photo collages marking timeless family milestones such as weddings and graduations.

Vendors will also be displaying hand-crafted jewelry fashioned from silverware spoons, and a booth featuring leather belts and wallets.

PVC sling chairs for children, items crafted from wood such as music boxes, ceramics and Pampered Chef kitchen tools, food products and cookbooks for preparing food will also be available.

“There’s a big variety,” Pohlman said.

Creative Crafters Promotion also hosts two shows at the mall during the holiday season, the TurkeyFest Giftique during Thanksgiving week and the Christmas RUSH Giftique during the second week in December.



Jim Osborn is a news reporter at The Columbus Telegram.

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