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With the holidays quickly approaching, the River's Edge Craft Fair offers an opportunity for area residents to get some shopping out of the way this weekend.

The second annual event is set to run from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m. on Sunday at the Ramada Hotel and River's Edge Convention Center, 265 33rd Ave. in Columbus.

About 60 vendors will be in attendance from places like Norfolk, Kearney, Lincoln, Omaha and, of course, Columbus. Event Coordinator Barbie Cheloha said 90 percent of the products sold at the fair are handmade, such as soap, cupcakes, popcorn, repurposed furniture, jewelry, boutique clothing, sports clothing, crocheted items and wood carvings.

Cheloha said the goal of the event is to expose local shoppers to small businesses in a fun, welcoming environment.

“I want to bring something, an enjoyable event to all the shoppers around here. Something they can come around to and relax,” Cheloha said. “Just have a nice day together with your friends.”

In addition to vendors being present at the free event, the venue is hosting a massage chair and Santa Claus will be available for photos from 1-3 p.m.

The hotel’s Bistro on the Loup is also hosting a brunch buffet from 10:30 a.m. through 1:30 p.m. Holiday drinks, wine, soda and alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase at the Bistro throughout the day.

The fair was able to garner a greater number of vendors than last year, which only had 48. Cheloha attributes the increase to approximately 60 to word-of-mouth advertising.

“Word just spread pretty fast, we’re really happy,” Cheloha said. “It took off, and we’re really excited about (it).”

One of the show's vendors is Beth Grove, of Beaver City. Her store, My 4 Sons, 414 10th St. in Beaver City, sells hand-painted rustic wood signs, seasonal decor, repurposed furniture, handmade lanterns, signs and hand sewn items. Grove is traveling more than three hours for the fair, noting this will be her first time visiting Columbus.

“It just sounded like the kind of event I’m attracted to, I like the small hometown events,” Grove said about the River's Edge Craft Fair “Every show I go to, I like to make connections with people and I love the feeling of knowing some of my handmade pieces are in someone's home.”

Visitors to the craft show will be able to pick up a special card. Those who get their card signed by all vendors will be able to enter into a raffle for one of several gift baskets. Cheloha said the goal of the giveaway is to encourage shoppers to visit all the booths at the show.

More information about the event is available online at the hotel's Facebook page.

Eric Schucht is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at eric.schucht@lee.net.

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Eric Schucht earned his bachelor's degree in journalism at the University of Oregon in 2018. He has written for The Cottage Grove Sentinel, The Creswell Chronicle, The Pacific Northwest Inlander and The Roseburg News Review.

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