Craft show attracts vendors from eight states

Amy Psinas sells recycled plastic lights for Infinity Lights from Pekin during the first day of the Country Treasures Craft Show at the Oakley-Lindsay Center Friday. (H-W Photo/Michael Kipley)
Posted: Mar. 9, 2013 4:54 pm Updated: Mar. 23, 2013 10:15 pm

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

Spring has officially sprung.

Or so feels Connie Cooley of Quincy, one of the thousands who will work their way through the 17th annual Country Treasures Craft, Home and Garden Spring Show this weekend at the Oakley-Lindsay Center.

"I'm here every year," Cooley said. "I love it."

Roughly 100 vendors from eight states are displaying their wares that range from creations designed to revitalize a living room to benches, shelves and artwork that are perfect household accents.

There is also plenty of trendy clothing and a plethora of jams, jellies, soups, breads and pastries. There's even Ohio State refrigerator magnets and Jeff Gordon light switch plates.

"I will not leave here without something," Cooley said.

Jann Severit of O'Fallon, Ill., is the promoter who sponsors both the March and November shows in Quincy. The March show used to be a Saturday-Sunday event, but a Friday night was added a few years ago by public demand.

The show continues today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

"This is the second-oldest show of this kind at (the Oakley-Lindsay Center)," Severit said. "Only the (36-year-old WGEM Home and Living Show) has been around longer."

Severit said the Country Treasures show offers virtually the same types of features each year, but the items and products within the specific categories of those features are in a constant state of change. There will always be clothing and furniture, for example, but styles are always evolving.

"Fashion and other trends dictate those changes," she said.

This weekend's show has attracted dealers from all parts of Illinois, plus Arkansas, Missouri, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Kansas and Iowa.

Sam Pelletier and her Chicago-based family are longtime vendors at shows such as this.

"We have it in our blood," she said.

This is Pelletier's first time to Quincy and is expecting a profitable weekend.

"I didn't realize Quincy was so close to Missouri, but it's ... right there," she said, pointing west.

The Pelletiers worked at shows 38 out of 52 weekends in 2012, covering a great deal of Illinois, plus bordering states and as far away as Texas.

"It's also a second job for our family," she said.

Not all of the show's attendees are from West-Central Illinois and Northeast Missouri. Beth Frye, a resident of Virginia Beach, Va., was one of the out-of-towners who made her way through the dozens of vendor booths and displays.

Frye's parents reside in Quincy and she made the 17-hour drive a few days ago from the Atlantic Coast to the middle of America.

"I like to go the (craft show) with my mom," Frye said.

Obviously, she's not alone.