Popular Women’s Institute Craft Show returns to the County

(Desirée Decoste/Gazette staff)




After a two year absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Prince Edward District Women’s Institute (WI) were back in full force Thursday with their 39th annual Craft Show and Sale at the Picton Fairgrounds and Huff Estates Arena.

All told, over 2,100 people came through the gates to support the WI and seek out those handmade, hard to find items. “It’s wonderful to be back,” WI member Kim DeBrun expressed to The Gazette. “We’re all a little older but were very happy to be back.”

Over 155 vendors spread across the fairgrounds, the Crystal Palace and the arena and Rotary Hall were selling everything from crafts, clothing, pottery, jewellery, toys, wood products, handcrafted soaps, paintings, food items and so much more.

(Desirée Decoste/Gazette staff)

Jeph Bailey-Brown of Bailey-Brown Pottery was glad to see the show return in 2022. A long-time vendor, Bailey-Brown was renewing acquaintances all day long. Based in nearby Roslin, ON, Bailey-Brown has been creating pottery pieces that are equal parts colourful and functional since 1986.

“I’ve been doing this show for something like 37 years,” stated Bailey-Brown. “It’s good in the sense that I have  regular customers that say they’re glad I’m back, glad I’m still in business. It’s a great show, plus I like the ladies at the Women’s Institute.”

Members from each of the County’s six Women’s Institute branches along with friends who volunteered their time and efforts made the day successful.  Local Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs manned the gates and parking lots while Curling Club members assisted by marking vendor spaces before the sale. Also part of the craft show team was Cherry Valley Recreation Committee and Picton Fire Department who served in a support role.

“It’s been two long years since the Women’s Institute craft show has taken place in Picton and I think all the attendees that I’ve spoken to and all the people that are participating are certainly glad its back,” Mayor Steve Ferguson said. “It’s unfortunate we had a little bit of rain in the morning but it’s nice and sunny now and everybody seems to be busy. And the Women’s Institute does so much for the community, and if people aren’t aware they should do some investigating into this worthy organization that started I think in the early 1900’s but they certainly make a significant contribution in Prince Edward County, particularly in the field of transit. And part of the proceeds from this show is donated back to the municipality for that cause. It’s terrific its back.”

Funds raised at this years craft show will go towards the many community projects the WI supports on an ongoing basis. Their Accessible Transportation cause, which was the catalyst of the original show almost 40 years ago, will reap the lion’s share of the 2022 show’s profits.

“We are thankful to all for the immense co-operation we had working together to present a successful event,” expressed lead organizer and WI member Wilma de Wolde. “Many thanks to all the vendors who came out to support the sale!”

Next year will be the 40th Annual Sale and will be held Aug. 3, 2023.

For more information on the Prince Edward District Women’s Institute please visit https://thecountywomensinstitute.ca/