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EDWARDSVILLE - What’s better than spending your weekend shopping for some of the finest handmade arts and craft products and supporting the arts?

Those who love finding great deals on unique gifts and trinkets had the opportunity to do just that this Saturday as The Tiger Band 24th Annual Art and Craft Fair kicked off at Edwardsville High School.

Sponsored by the Edwardsville Tiger Band Boosters organization, the fair, which continues from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 13, helps the boosters to raise thousands of dollars to support the band they love.

These funds allow the band to perform their extravagant halftime shows and funds the winter color guard and drum-line programs. Maintenance costs, food, uniform replacements and more are also covered with booster funds.

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 Gwen Anderson has been working at the Arts and Craft Fair for years and has had an amazing time while doing so. Over the past few years, she has been volunteering the fair’s bake sale, which is sure to make anyone with a sweet tooth’s mouth water.

“We ask all of the band families to donate baked goods and from there, we get this glorious bake sale,” Anderson said. “Chef Shoppe donates fudge for us and we get a variety of goods from donations. 

The notion of “Once a band parent, always a band parent” sticks to the minds of a lot of volunteers from the craft fair and bake sale. The camaraderie is hard to shake once you’ve been welcomed to the group.

“The cake pops come from a graduated band mom who doesn’t even have a student in the program anymore,” she mentioned.

The fair is an excellent opportunity to get a head start on your Christmas lists, and it’s truly impossible not to find something to fall in love with as you roam the schools halls stuffed with vendor and crafter booths. 

“I love it. You see the same people and the same vendors every year,” she said. “You always hear these positive comments that people love coming here. They love the food, the atmosphere. It’s so much fun to be a part of.”

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