AAUW’s What’s New Fair At JCC This Weekend

The area’s longest concurrently running arts and crafts fundraising event will feature a host of new faces amidst a sea of familiarity among its vendors.

The American Association of University Women’s Jamestown branch will host its 61st annual What’s New Fair in Jamestown Community College’s Hamilton Collegiate Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday — in which approximately a dozen of its 65-70 vendors will be first-time participants.

“More than anything, the What’s New Fair tradition is really built on what’s out there that’s different that we may not see in the mall or mainstream outlets,” said Kathryn “Kat” Colvin, What’s New Fair co-chair. “I’m really excited because word is getting further and further out geographically as far as interested vendors, and it helps you to really realize how interconnected our worlds are. We have a neat variety of new vendors, and several of them feature children’s books and other items; and I’m liking the shift back in that direction.”

Vendors which will be making their first appearance at the What’s New Fair include: Buffalo Bob Wild Game; Finders Keepers Crafts, specializing in rustic and holiday decor; GYST Planners, offering day planners, stickers and accessories; Keep Collective; Lula Roe, clothing; Stonehill Chocolates; Twix-n-Eye, recycled can ornaments; Usborne Books, children’s books; James Vincent, children’s books; and Window Vases by Deb.

The What’s New Fair has been a staple in Jamestown, despite the many locations in which it has been held over the years. Regardless of the many vendors and staging areas, the mission of the fair has always been to raise money for the provision of scholarships to female Jamestown Business College and Jamestown Community College graduates who wish to continue their education in pursuit of a four-year degree. More than $300,000 of What’s New Fair proceeds have been given to over 300 young women in the area.

When the What’s New Fair was established in 1956, it initially served as a means for Jamestown’s major retail outlets — such as Bigelow’s and Carnahan’s — to showcase the most current products and items on the market each year. It has since taken on a much more localized theme, showcasing items crafted by a multitude of private and smaller public vendors.

In addition to vendors, entertainment, refreshments and giveaways will also be available to visitors. The giveaways will include a number of baskets and gift certificates to various area establishments at a cost of $1 per ticket, $5 for seven tickets or $10 for 20 tickets — though the winners need not be present. Door prizes will be drawn from admission tickets hourly, and winners must be present in order to receive their prize.

Admission to the What’s New Fair is $3 for adults, $2 for JCC and Jamestown Business College Students with ID, and $1 for children ages 6-12. Children 5 and under admitted free.

For more information on this year’s What’s New Fair, visit jamestown-ny.aauw.net/ or find “AAUW What’s New Fair” on Facebook.