EFFINGHAM — Christmas was in the air on Sunday as people gathered at the Thelma Keller Convention Center in Effingham for the fifth annual “All I Want for Christmas” craft fair.

“It keeps growing and growing every year,” said Brandi Overturf, who organized the event. “I still have 20 people (vendors) on my waiting list that I wasn’t able to get in for the show.”

Overturf said there were a total of 95 booths at the convention center Sunday. Two booths were set up just outside of the convention center doors.

“I just love craft fairs myself,” Overturf said. “I think this is our best one because everyone is just getting into the peak of the Christmas mode.”

“The reason we call it ‘All I Want for Christmas’ is because you can pretty much find anything you want right here,” Overturf said. “No matter who you’re shopping for there is something for everybody.”

The craft fair offered guests a wide range of Christmas crafts, including gigantic Christmas ornaments, children’s books, wreaths, bird houses and several varieties of candy.

Sisters’ Sweets had a booth filled with four kinds of brittles, caramels, chocolate caramels, taffy, fudge, rock candy and two varieties of divinity candy, just to name a few. The business opened a candy shop this year in Shelbyville. Kim Johnston and her daughter, Kaylee Johnston, were representing the business at the craft fair Sunday.

“We opened in April and we started making candy,” Kim Johnston said.

They’ve been doing something every weekend since, Kim Johnston added.

“We do this in addition to what we sell in the shop and plus what we sell in stores,” said Kim Johnston.

Shelbyville-based Quiltin’ Buddies doesn’t have a shop but that didn’t stop two members of the quilting group, Brenda Cutler and Starla Stillwell, from traveling to Effingham to sell some of their crafts and merchandise. The two had a large selection of Beanie Babies, wallets and pin cushions for sale. The group makes quilts for charities and fundraisers.

“This is our third craft fair this year,” Stillwell said. “We like coming to Effingham.”

“We’re just a little group of gals who quilt,” Stillwell said.

“We just work together and play together,” Brenda Cutler added.

A group of friends have been coming to the annual craft show since it started five years ago. Jenessa Dawkins of Louisville, Teresa Doyle of Cisne, Shaina Pickens of Flora and Stephanie Harmon of Bible Grove were at the convention center Sunday.

“This is kind of an annual thing for us,” Pickens said.

“We are having a girls day shopping and lunch,” Doyle said.

Dawkins said she likes the crafts and candle vendors.

“We do a lot of things together,” Dawkins said.

Crystal Wehrle and her daughter, Emma, came to the craft fair Saturday afternoon from Beecher City.

“We come every year,” Crystal Wehrle said. “We like to come get Christmas gifts and this is one of our favorite stops.”

Sarah Stephen of Altamont and her mother, Bonnie Kemme, were moving from booth to booth checking out the many craft vendors.

“We always enjoy craft shows,” Stephen said. “This is our first time to this craft show.”

“It is amazing to see what people come up with,” Kemme said. “They have creative minds.”

Charles Mills can be reached at charles.mills@effinghamdailynews.com or by phone at 217-347-7151 ext. 126.

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