Fayetteville, N.C. — Shoppers crowded the Crown Expo Center in Fayetteville Thursday afternoon for the annual Holly Day Fair.
In its 48th year, this one-stop holiday shopping event has about 200 vendors from across the country making it the largest gift and craft show in the eastern part of the state. More than 20,000 shoppers are expected to browse through the unique selection of handcrafted and manufactured products, including jewelry, toys, clothes and holiday decorations.
"It's an amazing event. Everybody loves it. Such nice people are around. Everybody loves our stuff. We've got cute little trendy kind of clothes, scarves, good Christmas presents. It's just a fun atmosphere to come and visit," said Kilty Walker, of Charlotte-based Julie's Boutique.
Libby Fisher, of Whiteville, said she shops the fair every year because of the style, good food and fellowship.
Rachel Little, an Army wife originally from California, had a great time shopping the event for the first time, even picking up some frozen wine.
The Junior League of Fayetteville, which sponsors the show each year, uses all proceeds to give back to various local organizations. Last year, more than $300,000 was raised.
"It goes to the Boys and Girls Club, Fayetteville Urban Ministries. We also partnered this year with our local theater, Cape Fear Regional Theater, for their production of "The Bluest Eye." Our Cape Fear Valley Health Foundation to remodel their pediatric intensive care unit."
Sarah Marie Stewart, the Junior League's Holly Day Fair chairperson, said this year's funds will help the Boys and Girls Club, Fayetteville Urban Ministries, Cape Fear Regional Theater and even the Cape Fear Valley Health Foundation to help remodel their pediatric intensive care unit.
The Holly Day Fair runs through Sunday. General admission tickets are $9 and children ages 5 and under are admitted free.