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Morning Sun
  • Expo kicks off holiday shopping season

  • Holiday shoppers got an early start to the Christmas season Saturday during the third annual Holiday Shopping Expo at Pittsburg’s The Lamplighter Inn and Suites.



    The event got its start three years ago when organizer Sara McMechan got a few friends together to sell their crafts.

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  • Holiday shoppers got an early start to the Christmas season Saturday during the third annual Holiday Shopping Expo at Pittsburg’s The Lamplighter Inn and Suites.
    The event got its start three years ago when organizer Sara McMechan got a few friends together to sell their crafts.
    “They said ‘We should get some people together,’ and it just got bigger every year,” McMechan said.
    More than 40 vendors brought their wares to Saturday’s shopping event. Some direct product dealers for products such as jewelry and candles. Others were dealing items they had crafted themselves, such as dog treats and clothing.
    McMechan’s friend, Cheryle Wilson, who helps her run the event, said she likes to see a wide variety of vendors. She also said the event draws a lot of visitors.
    “It’s an early shopping experience, and if you don’t want to buy anything today, you can get the vendors’ cards and contact them later,” Wilson said. “It lets us show off what we have in the Four State area.”
    One of the vendors was Kathy Gronau, who owns The Teal Turtle Consignment and Gift Shop in Girard and also sells her items online at Etsy.com. Gronau said she started sewing when she was 8 years old, makes clothes for young girls and matching outfits for 15- and 18-inch American Girl dolls.
    “They’re very expensive dolls and they have very expensive clothes,” Gronau said. “The first thing I ever sewed was a tea towel, and like everything else, it just takes practice to get better.”
    Gronau said there is a good market for the doll clothes, and her granddaughter, Anna, who was with her, agreed.
    “They’re a lot of fun, and you can model them and try new things,” she said. “You can make them look like you and dress them.”
    Cherlyn Ingram lives in McCune with her husband, David, who is an art teacher in Erie. Cherlyn had a booth at the expo, selling woven rugs that she makes from used clothing and wooden bowls that David turns out of salvaged wood and finishes with food-safe finishes.
    “I once made a braided rug, but took too much time and I thought ‘There has to be another way to do this,’” Cherlyn said. “I know how to crochet, so I looked into it more and that’s how I made these.”
    Mary Elliott came from Oronogo, Mo., to help with the lunch that was served and to check out the goods that were for sale.
    “I like it,” she said. “It’s inside and it’s very well-organized. Everybody has something different and there’s a good variety.”
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