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Homemade gifts continue to draw shoppers to Fort Kent holiday fair

FORT KENT, Maine — Community bonding and an appreciation for local artisanship drew a steady stream of shoppers to the 37th Annual Fort Kent Arts and Craft Fair on Saturday and Sunday at the University of Maine at Fort Kent.

Katie Kenneson, 24, of Fort Kent brought her 19-month-old daughter, Rosie Kenneson, to the fair on Saturday. The stay-at-home mom has been attending the craft fair for years, and said she enjoyed sharing the tradition with her own child.

“I’ve come here since I was probably 8 or 9 years old. I like seeing everybody,” Kenneson said. “Homemade gifts are probably the best gifts you can give.”

Vendors included those selling homemade candies, jams, soaps, mittens and woodwork projects.

Jodi Guy and her young daughter Abigail of Fort Kent sold baked goods and crafts at the fair that the 38-year-old owner of The Funny Farm has participated in as a vendor for the last five years.

“I help my mother bake and sew,” said Abigail, a 10-year-old, fifth-grade student at Fort Kent Elementary School.

Abigail said she plans to follow in her mother’s footsteps and become a baker when she grows up. She also raised money for Puppy Rescue Mission, by selling homemade bracelets for $1 each and through a donation jar at the Guy’s table at the fair.

Wearing a shirt that read “Bake the World a Better Place,” Abigail raised $55 for Puppy Rescue Mission, which helps foster and rehome dogs of war who bond with U.S soldiers, especially those deployed in war zones.

“We work with or through other organizations that help our soldiers bring their companion animals home from war,” according to the non-profit organization’s website.

The Greater Fort Kent Area Chamber of Commerce sponsored the arts and craft fair. Dona Saucier, executive director of the chamber, said this year’s fair included 93 vendors and saw about 1,200 adults come through the door on Saturday, and 500 on Sunday based on ticket sales. The figure does not include children 12 years old and younger, who received free admission.

Jodi Guy, said she and Abigail nearly sold out all of their baked goods at the event, and plan to return for the 38th fair.

“It was a phenomenal weekend. I’m looking forward to next year,” she said.

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