WATERTOWN Dressed in a Hello Kitty T-shirt, 5-year-old Anya J. Gadd decided to get her face painted with the same theme Saturday at an Easter craft fair hosted for the first time at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds exhibition hall.
The fair, which showcased 42 vendors with a miscellany of homemade crafts, was the inspiration of Kim M. Sherman, of Watertown, a well-known crafter in the community.
Its packed, said Ms. Sherman, who was selling cheesecake-on-a-stick Saturday. I could have filled this space twice over with the demand from vendors I had. I hope to make this an annual event.
Families were given an incentive to turn out for the Saturday affair, as youngsters had their faces painted and got balloons expertly made to represent their favorite television show and Hollywood characters.
Crafters sold handmade hats, scarves, stuffed animals, jewelry and more with an emphasis on Easter-themed apparel to catch the eye of shoppers.
But not everything had an Easter flair. For Roxann L. Ojeda, stuffed-animal zombies with scary and disturbing features are one of the best sellers for her Watertown small business, Retro Roxy Sewing.
The scarier the better, she said, explaining that her zombie creations are a hit among military couples who watch the popular television show Walking Dead.
Military wives buy the zombies and send them to their husbands overseas, she said. And the kids love my stuff.
Among the vendors on Saturday was a 15-year-old entrepreneur who was busily making balloon creations for children. Noah Kilpatrick, of Watertown, who has been making balloons at craft shows for about a year, said that while Easter bunnies were popular on Saturday, the biggest hit among children were balloons showcasing Elsa the snow queen from the Disney film Frozen.
Ninja turtles, Spider-Man and zombies are also popular, he said.
Noahs mother, Melina Kilpatrick, has run a full-time face-painting business called Brushstrokes by Melina for more than two years. She said Saturdays event, which drew a plethora of youngsters, is a welcome addition to craft shows she attends year-round.
Its definitely full, she said, adding that she has mastered her face-painting art over the years. I can paint a face in two-and-a-half minutes or less.
Many of the crafters at the show such as Kim Rodriguez of Watertown are members of the North Country Crafters, a club that has more than 400 members from across the region. Mrs. Rodriguez, who was busy painting a black fedora with a violin and trumpet for a customer on Saturday, said she learned about the event on the clubs Facebook site. Her hats, priced from $6 to $25, had an eclectic range of themes.
The hats feature designs for little kids, hobbies like motorcycles and steam punk themes, she said, pointing to a black hat painted with ivory piano keys as an example of the latter. Steam punk is a cross between Gothic, gears and Victorian.
Video of the craft fair can be seen at http://wdt.me/Easter-Fair.