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Smartt Assembly of God Craft Fair offers Christmas shopping options
Craft - Christy Barnes.jpg
She’s an apartment manager by day, crafter at night. Christy Barnes had a booth filled with attractive wreaths at the craft fair.

If you were making your list and checking it twice, the Smartt Assembly of God Craft Fair was the place to be on Friday and Saturday.

The two-day festival featured over 40 vendors, an assortment of fudge and candy treats, and Christmas ornaments galore. 

“This has shown people are ready to get out and about,” said Pat Cole, one of the organizers. “Attendance has been really good and we’re pleased to see everyone out at our third annual show.”

Michelle Estes was drawing a crowd at her booth which featured all types of Christmas wreaths and ornaments. 

“This is a stress-reliever for me,” said Michelle. “This is the first time doing this show for me. I did the Freedom Festival they had at the fairgrounds and did really well there. That’s what got me to try this show.”

In addition to her holiday ornaments, Michelle also had Tennessee Vol and Alabama Crimson Tide decorations. In a sad note, Michelle said her Alabama items sell better than her Tennessee decorations.

Samantha Saldana is already getting the entrepreneurial spirit at age 14. She hopes to play college volleyball in a few years and recently made a prestigious traveling volleyball squad. The catch is it takes a minimum $1,000 fee to play on that team.

“We’re trying to raise money so she can play college volleyball,” said her grandmother, Tracey Pickens.

Samantha explained how her uncle provides the wood chips and she does the hand painting on many of the ornaments. She also decorates gnomes, which she said she loves doing but admitted they aren’t the best sellers.

Kimberly Peterson is one of the show organizers and she also had a booth for her Scentsy products.

“It’s my third year here,” said Kimberly. “We’ve done really well so far, even last year with COVID we had good sales. My favorite part is getting out and mingling with others. That’s what I enjoy.”

Sheila Whitaker had a booth with her delicious baked goods. She talked about trying to follow in the footsteps of her mother, Gloria Whitaker, who was a fabulous cook.

“I have the peanut butter cookies down and the chess pie and the fudge,” said Sheila. “What I can’t get is her fried pies. I can’t get the texture just right.”

Ahh … Gloria wasn’t going to divulge all of her secrets.

Christy Barnes had an attractive display of Christmas items at her booth with husband Jerry, known for his tractor business.

“I have to do something when I’m not working,” said Christy.

By day, Christy is manager of Rosewood Apartments, a complex with 48 units. She prides herself on running a clean facility.

“I screen them tough so we don’t ever have any trouble with the law,” said Christy.

Housing is an issue that’s come to the center of attention in McMinnville with a lack of nicer apartments. Christy said units at Rosewood start at $533 and include water, garbage pickup and sewer.

“We do need some housing for upper-end renters,” said Christy.