WANT TO GO?
Mountain State Arts and Craft Fair
WHEN: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday
WHERE: Cedar Lakes Conference Center, Ripley
COST: Adults $6, seniors $5, children (age 6-12) $2, children under 6 free
INFO: 304-372-3247 or www.msacf.comCHARLESTON, W.V.a. -- Max Barker is hoping for some wind at the Mountain State Arts and Craft Fair in Ripley this weekend and not just to cool things down. Barker will be at the annual event with his group, the New Era Kite Club, which will have kite-making workshops, stunt kite demonstrations and more.
This will be the first year at the fair for the club, which is an outreach program of the New Era One Room School Museum in Mineral Wells. The club has about 11 members and is composed primarily of people on the museum board.
It began two years ago, when Barker organized a kite festival as a fundraiser for the non-profit museum.
"I'm a kite enthusiast, so I thought, 'Why not put on a kite festival?' They have them throughout the country, but West Virginia doesn't have one. So we held one and we had a good response. We did it again this year, and it did really well."
The festival's success has led to more opportunities for the club, which is part of the American Kite Assn. It has been asked to do events throughout the state and in Virginia.
"There's kind of a void from West Virginia over to Virginia. We've had organizations contact us," Barker said. "We've had a lot of requests. I didn't realize there was such a big interest until we started doing this."
The club tries to accommodate as many requests as it can, but it is volunteer-based, and most members have full-time jobs. Barker is a bus driver and driver trainer for Wood County Schools. His brother-in-law, Dave Bunner, the group's vice president, is a correctional officer at Saint Marys Correctional Center.