One of the biggest events in North Fort Myers is coming the weekend before Thanksgiving. That doesn't mean it's too early for vendors to sign up.
Grace Community Center, at 4151 Hancock Bridge Parkway, will host the sixth-annual Arts & Crafts Festival on Friday, Nov. 22, from 4 to 8 p.m., and Saturday, Nov. 23, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
And the goal is to have as many local artists as possible as opposed to simply vendors who "do the circuit."
It is the second of the two big fundraisers the center does annually, along with the golf tournament. Last year the event raised nearly $9,000, with the hopes of raising $10,000 this year, according to Marsha Smith, event coordinator.
She hopes to attract more by charging less.
"Last year it was $60 to sell inside. This year it's $50. It was $35 to sell outside. This year it's $25," Smith said. "People aren't in a good place financially. We want to make it affordable, so we lowered prices."
The proceeds go toward the many free programs the community center offers such as GED classes, haircuts and pet care.
Many return vendors are expected to bring their talents along with lots of new artists. Though some will be the usual "circuit vendors," many others will be from Southwest Florida, which Smith wanted to stress.
"This is a big draw for locals. We want to get artists from Cape Coral and from Matlacha, Pine Island and Naples," Smith said. "The majority will be local, and we want to emphasize that."
Smith said those who display in the parking lot will have outdoor security overnight.
Vendors are welcome to apply for either indoor or outdoor booths. Fees indoor are $50, which is $10 less from last year. It includes one table and two chairs;
A bistro booth is $35 and includes bistro table and two stools. Outside booths are $40 and vendors bring whatever needed to set up. Extra tables rent for $10 each.
If power is needed, please let them know when you send in your application.
Outside vendors may include arts and crafts, foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, plants. There will be a bounce house and face painting for children.
The Grace Thrift Store will be open extended hours so shoppers can buy some bargain merchandise. There will be door prizes and silent auction ongoing.
For a vendor application via email, mail to: GCCARTS2013@yahoo.com
Deadline for entries is Nov. 1.