Sunday, October 27, 2013

Harvest Holiday at Keyser High School

      On Saturday October 26th, Keyser High School brought in yet another way to celebrate the changing of the seasons. Harvest Holiday welcomed more than 90 different vendors, showcasing a wide range of products including baked goods, photographs, handmade furniture and many more. Many of the vendors donated some of there items to silent auctions hosted by ACES and HY-Y, two of the high schools organizations, who are fundraising for a major landscaping job at the school, benefiting the students and the community.

      Among the many displays at the festival was one by the name of “Aunt B's Place.” Owner and artist Brenda Caldwell displayed many of her industrial sculptures and one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces. Ms Caldwell has been making artwork for several years, but this was only her third major shop event, starting with Heritage Days only a few months ago. The Victorian Era is what drew her to the unique style known as “steam-punk”. Her pieces include necklaces and earrings embellished with small gears and decorations crafted from vacuum pipes and broken watches. “I love re-purposing things. I see things most people would see as junk, but to me I view it as something entirely different,” Ms. Caldwell stated. Located in Fort Ashby, West Virginia, Ms. Caldwell sells her things from her home and website. “I didn't think he would buy anything,” Ms,. Caldwell says as she recalls a time when an older gentleman bought something for his relative. “But there's really something here for everyone.”

      Photography was also one of the many talents that was exhibited at the Harvest. Sandy Thunker, of Gainesville Virginia, has been a self taught photographer for over 30 years. She and her husband have taken pictures all over the world, including places like Europe, Russia, and many parts of Africa. “My favorite place would probably be Africa. I've traveled to Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and South Africa,” Mrs. Thunker explained. “There were so many different animals and amazing things to see.” Her 3-D photographs seemed to be the most attractive pieces to the spectators. In what appear to be shadow boxes, Mrs. Thunker takes several shots of one picture and layers them together to create even more depth than you would see in the regular photo. Sandy also creates and sells photo greeting cards along with her prints and 3D photos, all of which can be viewed on her website “Especially for You.”

      Aside from all of the vendors and their displays, the food was also what drew many people in. The aromas of pumpkin spices and apple dumplings filled the halls of the school, which made it irresistible to stay away. The festival was also attended by Keyser Rotary Club and restaurants like The Wing Shack, who offered taco salads, burritos, quesadillas, soups, pulled pork, beef brisket, and chicken on a stick. “I've probably gained like five pounds in the last four hours, but it was worth it,” laughed senior Alexis Spitzer of Keyser High School.

      As the event came to a close, the shoppers left with the crafts and treats they had purchased and with smiles on their faces. A thanks goes out to Keyser High School for hosting yet another successful Harvest Holiday.

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