Keller Citizen

High school craft fairs draw shoppers — and big bucks

Shoppers fill the Commons at Keller High School during the 2016 Indianettes Craft Show. The Indianettes aim to earn $40,000 from the show.
Shoppers fill the Commons at Keller High School during the 2016 Indianettes Craft Show. The Indianettes aim to earn $40,000 from the show. Courtesy

There’s a reason craft fairs pop up at area high schools between October and December: They can be huge moneymaking endeavors for drill teams, student councils and parent-teacher groups.

The Keller High Indianettes, whose show is this weekend, aim to earn as much as $40,000. The L.D. Bell show also is this weekend. A newer fair is Dec. 9.

Christie Panno, director of the Indianettes, said proceeds help pay for Indianettes to travel to events and competitions, defray costume costs and contest fees.

“This year, we’re performing at Disneyworld in March, and this will help pay for that trip,” she said.

Last year, the group performed in the Rose Parade and a few years earlier, traveled to New York City. They also travel to contests around the state.

The 25th Annual Southlake Carroll PTO Craft Fair Nov. 4 made more than $50,000, said event co-chair Yvette Carmona. All proceeds go to Project Graduation, the alcohol-free, drug-free party at Main Event for seniors. The all-night post-commencement event will benefit 700 graduating seniors this year.

While most of the other fairs offer free admission, Carroll’s fair raised their admission from $3 to $5 per adult and still drew a great crowd, Carmona said.

Both Indianettes and L.D. Bell charge $125 per booth. Most of the earnings coming from those fees. Vendors keep all money from their sales.

The L.D. Bell fair is run by young entrepreneurs in the school’s Career and Technology Education department and by student council members. Students with other school organizations can also assist for a share of the funds, said show organizer Patricia Stricklin, a retired CTE teacher.

Proceeds go to programs throughout the school, from field trips and scholarships to teacher training and student incentives, Stricklin said. The school raised just under $32,000 from booth fees last year. Student groups earn additional money by selling food and spirit wear.

The Bobcat Dazzlers show raised about $10,000 last year, which helped pay for travel and uniforms, said Victorya Rogers, event organizer.

The group is performing in Florida this year, and the funds will help offset the $1,500 per dancer cost of the trip, Rogers said.

What they’re known for

The Indianettes are famous for their pumpkin rolls, which are sold through pre-orders and at the show. Each year, the dancers and their parents gather in the kitchens at Keller High School and make 1,200 pumpkin rolls. The cost: $15 per roll both with or without pecans.

Close to 1,000 are sold before the show and picked up during it, with another 250 for sale while supplies last, and they always sell out, Panno said.

In addition to the pumpkin rolls, the big draws are the booths and the silent auction items.

“It’s a lot of home decor, jewelry, clothes, personalized gifts and unique items,” Panno said.

The Bobcat Dazzlers show puts the spotlight on Santa and Mrs. Claus, who are there throughout the day for photos with kids and listening to wishes, Rogers said.

Of course, parents are there for the goods. Vendors offer custom clothing, home decor, bath and body items and more.

Rogers said, “We have a lot of items for Christmas, unique gifts that you won’t find at department stores.”

The Bell show offers jewelry, clothing, gifts, home and holiday decor and handmade toys.

Stricklin said, “It’s one of the best craft fairs around. We’re very proud of it.”

Big craft shows: The details

  • The Keller High Indianettes, who aim to earn as much as $40,000, host their 36th Annual Craft Show from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3, at Keller High School, 601 N. Pate Orr Rd. They offer free admission, free babysitting, concessions and entertainment, in addition to the wares of 260 vendors in more than 300 booths.
  • The 30th annual L.D. Bell High School Craft Fair will also be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at the school, 1601 Brown Trail, Hurst. No admission is charged, but organizers ask those attending to bring canned food for the Student Council’s “Christmas Providers” service project.
  • Byron Nelson High School’s drill team rolls out the Bobcat Dazzler Annual Craft Show from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 9, at the school, 2775 Bobcat Blvd., Trophy Club. Admission is free.