It’s not every day you see a chainsaw getting sharpened at a craft fair.
Yet that’s exactly what the public will see at Lac La Hache’s Summer Fling of Homemade Things May 27 to 28. Organizer Heather Balaam said she has 35 different vendors set to attend the craft fair, hosted at the OAPO Pioneer Centre.
“It’s quite a lineup. I’ve been very impressed by the quality and diversity that we have. We have some first-time vendors coming to their first-ever craft show,” Balaam said. “We have a couple of interesting things that aren’t usually shown at craft shows.”
Balaam said that on Saturday only, professional logger Dave Maplethorpe will be outside the OAPO sharpening chainsaws and giving demonstrations on how to properly sharpen them. All proceeds from this service will be donated to the Rolf Zeis Memorial Arena.
On Saturday, Dave Archer will be sharpening knives of all kinds. Balaam said she plans to bring a bag of knives for him to work on and encourages others to do the same.
Balaam said she got the idea to organize the Summer Fling after attending her first craft fair as a vendor earlier this year. She specializes in painting metal yard decorations of hummingbirds, dragonflies and other creatures.
While selling them at a Christmas market she joked with a friend that she could organize her own craft fair. Balaam eventually approached the OAPO about doing one, and organized Lac La Hache’s Spring Fling earlier this year.
Based on that success, Balaam and her partner, Lori-Lyn Graham, decided to organize a larger summer event this month. She said they really wanted to showcase all the arts and crafts produced by people in the South Cariboo.
“It’s fun. I like organizing it and I like helping people share what they’re creating. There are a lot of amazing artists out there in all kinds of forms,” Balaam said. “I get to meet all kinds of neat people and I’m going to a few other craft shows because of this. People invite me, which is nice.”
In addition to the usual craft vendors, Balaam said she has invited the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society’s Mary Forbes to run a bike repair workshop on both days. Forbes will bring down several old bikes and show local young people how to fix their own bikes using recycled parts.
“With the bike program, I’ve already gone up to the elementary school and talked to the secretary. She said there are a lot of kids there with older or recycled bikes already, so they could probably use this type of advice,” Balaam said. “I think it’s really good for the kids because it teaches them how to use tools, how to be responsible and how to recycle.”
Balaam said they will have Pam’s Food Service’s new food truck on-site. They’ll also have live music, plus popcorn and cotton candy for sale, with proceeds again going to the arena.
In that spirit, Balaam has invited the Lac La Hache Volunteer Fire Department, who will bring a firetruck for children to explore. They’ll also accept donations for this year’s Christmas Food Hampers.
“We just wanted to have something that was going to give back to the community and raise funds for things that are going on,” Balaam said.
“There’s not a lot of things going on in Lac La Hache, so the things that are here are important to support.”