Minden craft fair draws hundreds

White tents filled Esmeralda Avenue in downtown Minden during the 16th annual Minden Springs Arts and Crafts Fair on Saturday.

A tangle of children and shoppers wended their way around the booths as the aroma of barbecued tri-tips wafted through the air. Gray skies kept summer's heat at bay and little girls ate hot dogs on the curb as a two-piece band played easy-listenin' tunes.

This year's event included about 120 booths, featuring the unique, the creative, the slightly funky. Hammocks, garden decorations, T-shirts, jewelry, picnic baskets and more could be had -- for a price.

Carson City resident Nancy Small said she always looks at everything before she makes a purchase and she'd just looked at all of the booths for the first time.

"I saw a lot of nice things," she said. "There are a lot of creative people out there."

Deborah Wakida of Nevada City sold chocolate-dipped fruit and snow cones while Linda Porter brought a large selection of hand-made baskets. Raised in Africa, Porter learned the art as a child from her mother, who became a weaver during that period. She has turned the craft into a small business.

"We buy the elephant grass in bulk and import it from Africa," she said.

Here for the first time, Porter said she loves downtown Minden and the event, but she wasn't expecting the winds on Friday night.

According to organizer Roxanne Stangle, a local promotional group called Williams Ltd. helps local businesses organize this event, then splits the profits with the town, the money going toward a number of improvements.

"We're lucky to be working with Williams," she said. "Not many promoters would help out like they do."

She said the effort has netted more than $60,000 in the last 16 years, the money used for sidewalks, trees, and the Clock Park in the historic Minden business district.


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