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Lions Club’s Arts and Crafts Fair marks last big art festival for season

By Staff | Mar 12, 2019

PHOTO PROVIDED The 36th Annual Sanibel Captiva Lions Arts & Crafts Fair returns to the Sanibel Community House.

Residents and visitors will have one last opportunity to get their artistic fill – on a large scale – before the season ends at the Sanibel-Captiva Lions Club’s 36th Annual Arts and Crafts Fair.

Set to take place on March 15 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and March 16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Community House on Sanibel, the event will feature the work of approximately 100 artists and crafters. Designed as a juried show, there will also be a silent auction, raffles and a door prize giveaway.

The proceeds benefit island charities, vision- and hearing-based organizations, and local scholarships, such as Lighthouse of SWFL, Southeastern Guide Dogs, the Trailways Camp and Conklin Center.

“It is our largest fundraiser,” Jeff MacDonald, event co-chair with Bill Sartoris, said.

Southeastern Guide Dogs will have puppies from its “puppy raiser” program on site.

PHOTO PROVIDED A wonderful selection of raffle and silent auction items donated by generous island businesses are inside the Community House. Purchase a raffle ticket early for numerous chances to win.

A portion of the funds also support island initiatives.

“We do free (health) screenings for both adults and children,” he said.

Dozens of artists and crafters will display their work, with many of them returning exhibitors.

“A lot of them actually come back year-after-year,” MacDonald said, adding that they have a local following. “There’s a mixture of both local artists, as well as artists from all across the county.”

There will be paintings, photography, sculptures, jewelry, wood art and more.

“There’s a whole bunch of different types of art,” he said.

Because it is a juried show, the work on display and for sale is original.

“Everything has to be handmade,” MacDonald said. “Everything they’re creating is unique.”

The exhibitors are judged in three categories: 2-D art, 3-D art and creative crafts. Honors are given to the first place, second place and third place winners in each category, as well as one Best of Show.

“Best in Show is across all three categories,” he said.

The exhibitor booths will be located outside and inside the venue. The silent auction, which usually features about 100 items, will also take place indoors. Bidding will close on March 16 at 1 p.m.

“It’s local artwork. We have gift certificates to restaurants, golf packages, almost anything you can think of,” MacDonald said. “There are a couple of bicycles – it’s an eclectic mix of things.”

The items have been donated by local businesses, as well as the exhibitors themselves.

“They each donate an item for the auction or raffle,” he said.

Attendees can purchase the raffle tickets on site.

“There are five drawings every hour,” MacDonald said of both days.

“There’s two or three cash prizes, as well,” he added.

The auction and raffle winners do not need to be present to win.

In addition, there will be a door prize given away – an iPad mini 4.

Parking is free, with a $5 donation for entry; children ages 12 and under are free.

“Typically, we get between 4,000 and 5,000 people who come through over the two days,” MacDonald said.

Food and drinks will be available for purchase.

The sponsors for this year’s fair include John Grey Painting, Royal Shell, Lily & Co. Jewelers, Bank of the Islands, Cedar Chest, Congress Jewelers, ‘Tween Waters and Sanibel Captiva Community Bank.

The public is encouraged to stop by.

“The Lions’ fair has kind of become a tradition on the island,” he said. “It’s not a crazy event, but it’s a fun event you can take children to – it’s just a really nice way to spend a couple of sunny days.”

For more information, visit sanibelcaptivalionsclubartsandcraftsfair.com or contact Jeff MacDonald at 302-521-1158.

The Community House is at 2173 Periwinkle Way.