LITTLE VALLEY — With the holidays just around the corner, shoppers will have the opportunity to get a jumpstart on their purchases while supporting local artisans and manufacturers at the 7th annual W.I.L.M.A. Expo this weekend, Oct. 19-20.
Also known as “W.I.L.M.A. Woolly Bear Weekend,” the free, two-day event will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in both the corporate and domestic buildings on the county fairgrounds at 501 Erie St.
Organized by the Cattaraugus County Department of Economic Development, Planning and Tourism, W.I.L.M.A. (We Invite Local Manufacturing & Artisans) gives county residents the opportunity to show their support and to invest in their own community’s businesses. It encourages people to shop local and promotes local businesses by showcasing the products of local artisans and manufacturers in Cattaraugus County.
Spokesperson Deb Miller said there will be a Chinese auction on both days where people can win over 35 vendor prizes. A Kids’ Corner will entertain children with coloring pages and crafts while parents shop.
Free refreshments will be available including cider and doughnuts, or coffee provided by Pumpkinville and the South Dayton Super Duper. Pick up a free shopping bag provided by the Cattaraugus County Industrial Development Agency.
Shoppers should come early because the first 50 adults to arrive on Saturday and the first 25 adults on Sunday will receive $5 in W.I.L.M.A. Bucks to spend at the vendors’ tables. Miller said five door-prize drawings will be drawn — one for $75, another for $50 and three for the final drawing for $25. People need not be present to win.
Miller said the event seems to keep growing each year with new vendors being added. She said it has grown to the point that it was expanded into the adjacent Domestic Building in 2017.
County Legislature Chairman James J. Snyder and County Legislator Howard Van Rensselaer will announce their winter weather predictions by reading the bands of their “W.I.L.M.A.” the woolly bear caterpillars on display, which is planned for Saturday at 1 p.m.
According to the “Old Farmer’s Almanac,” the woolly bear caterpillar, with its distinct segments of black and reddish-brown, has the reputation of being able to forecast the coming winter weather.
Crystal Abers, director of the Cattaraugus County Department of Economic Development, Planning and Tourism, said a Job Fair will be held at the Corporate Building this year on Oct. 18. She said nearly 20 employers looking for employees will be at the Job Fair Friday at the Corporate Building from 8:30 a.m. until noon. Employers scheduled to attend include Upper Allegheny Health Systems, Cattaraugus County, Homecare & Hospice, Tops Markets, Seneca Allegany Casino, BOCES, New Directions, Field of Dreams, Holiday Valley and the Gowanda Nursing Home.
Any questions may be directed to Deb Miller at 938-2318 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local manufacturers and artisans scheduled to attend include:
Alyssa’s Creations, Alyssa Williams: homemade hats and scarves
Baskets Plus, Jill Phillips: handmade wooden baskets, face painting
C.A.M.P. (Citizens Advocating Memorial Preservation, Inc.), Tom Stetz: Information regarding the Civil War Veterans Memorial Preservation Project
Charming Accents, Jennifer Schmick: handmade jewelry
Clares Country Creations, Erica Baker: candles, knitted items, tie blankets
Connie’s Creations, Connie Uhrinek: woodcrafts, floral items, hand-sewn pillows, slate paintings
Country View Quilts, Candles & More, Samuel & Ada Hostetler: glazed and filled donuts, bread, pie, cookies, jams, candles and potholders
Creative Coverings, Mary Bishoff: dog coats, baby wraps
Deb’s Pieces, Deb Gugino: toys, scarves, dog beds, bones
Dee’s Creations, Dee Tavano: wreaths for all seasons
Eden Valley Creamery, Josh: organic artisanal cheeses
Elizabeth Whitacre: Tarot and Oracle Card Reader
Empty Nest Creations, Sandy Peterson: rice bags, burp cloths, tag blankets, etc.
Fat Root LLC, Jeff Vandecar: horseradish, garlic, honey, maple syrup products
Helping Us Help Others, Diana Olson: woodboxes, homemade chocolates, etc.
Herbal Expressions, Crystal Abers
Jane Got Stoned LLC, Jane Moskal: silverware, dishes, and napkin rings decorated with stones
Jean’s Jams & Jellies, Jean Sheehy: jams, jellies, relishes, sauces, etc.
Joyce Louser: towels, necklaces, baby blankets, etc.
Mary’s Boutique, Maryann Peterson: handmade girls’ accessories
MD SunArt, Mary Dawn Pafford: pottery art
Michele in the Making, Michele Meyers: RADA Cutlery/Color Street
Milk House Country Crafts, Noelle Lindner: floral wreaths, candles, chalkboards, etc.
Nansee’s Shut the Door Décor, Nancy Frentz: home décor, door wreaths, center pieces
Native Artistry, Beth Clark: jewelry, pottery, deer antler carvings, etc.
Paparazzi, Andrea Darrow: Paparazzi Jewelry
Papa’s Products, Page Martin: scroll art, pens, bowls, toys
Pink Zebra, Terri Wedge: Candles
Rose Garden, Rose Nuszkowski: stained glass ornaments
Rustic Halls, Marjorie Hall: home décor
Rustic Originals, Jodi Scanlan: primitive and country décor
Slates by Joni, Joni Oliver: hand-painted slate
Thirty-One Gifts, Lauren Bronneberg
Tough Cookies, Ken Miller: assorted cookies and barn wood accessories
Jamie Baldwin: wooden signs
Erin Griffith: hats, scarves, etc.
Charlene Rohwer: primitive sewing
Jim Howard: wood items
Nancy Bowers: handmade dolls, blankets, etc.
Priscilla Snider: fabric crafted items
Toni Reid: no-sew fabric ornaments, pins, yo-yos, barrettes, etc.
Nancy Marsh: handmade wooden toys and gifts
Myra Johnston: rocking horses, handmade soaps, paintings, spinning tops, etc., Leon Historical Society information
Laurie McCarthy: Avon
Shannon Goins: handmade jewelry for women, men and children