It’s that time again for the Lutz Arts & Crafts Show

Christmas at the Old Lutz School is coming up, too

Preparations are underway for the 38th annual Lutz Arts & Crafts Show, which is being held for the second year on the campus of Keystone Prep High School, 18105 Gunn Highway in Odessa.

“We’re going to have over 300 vendors. And, there’s a larger expanded food court,” said Faith Sincich, co-chair of the event.

She marvels at the transformation that takes place at the festival grounds, each year.

Zoe Deimling, 4, of Odessa, just can’t stop looking at the art on her face after having it painted at the Lutz Arts & Crafts Show. Deimling was along with her grandmother, Denise Alliston of Odessa, and her great-grandmother, Susan Corcoran of Lutz. (File)

“You go out on Friday morning and you see a field, an empty field, and by Saturday morning you see a little village of tents set up. It’s really incredible to see,” Sincich said.

As usual, there will be a great number of returning vendors, Sincich said. But, she noted, “we have some new vendors with some new crafts.”

The two-day event is always a hit with families because of its festive holiday atmosphere and its unique shopping opportunities. Shoppers can peruse booths featuring handcrafted jewelry, original artwork, photography, woodcrafts and metal work, and plants and yard art, to name just a few.

It is the primary annual fundraiser for the GFWC Lutz-Land O’ Lakes Woman’s Club.

Proceeds from the event benefit “hundreds, and I mean literally hundreds of charities and nonprofits that we support,” Sincich said.

The venue changed last year, from Lake Park to Keystone Prep.

That didn’t seem to hurt attendance, Sincich said. “We thought that the attendance was about the same.”

Even so, organizers believe that attendance could increase this year.

“This year, now that more people are familiar with the new location, we expect more people,” Sincich said. The new venue is also conveniently located for people from Pinellas County who want to check it out, she noted.

There’s ample parking.

“There’s a lot more room for public parking at this facility than there was at the old Lake Park,” Sincich said.

This year, the event is on Dec. 2, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Dec. 3, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Admission is free, but there is a $5 charge for parking collected by the school, which receives the proceeds.

While the GFWC Lutz-Land O’ Lakes Woman’s Club gears up for its giant arts and crafts show, the Citizens for the Old Lutz School Building is preparing for its annual Christmas celebration at the school, 18819 U.S. 41 N., in Lutz.

“Two of the rooms will be set up with trains and displays around trains,” said Stephanie Ensor, one of the event organizers. “The museum will be open.

“We have a tree room, where some different organizations will be bringing a tree to represent their organization.

“They have nutcrackers on display, throughout the building.

“The hallway is decorated by Steinbrenner (High School) student ambassadors,” Ensor added.

There will be entertainment on select evenings, and more entertainers are welcome to sign up.

There is no admission for the evenings at the schoolhouse, Ensor said, but “there will be a barrel to collect nonperishable food items and unwrapped toys for those less fortunate.”

The breakfast with Santa event costs $4.

The event is meant to serve as “a thank-you to the community for its continued support,” Ensor said.

It’s a great way for people to reconnect with people they haven’t seen in awhile, Ensor said.

“My daughters are 18 and 20 now.

“When I’m up there, I’m always running into someone I knew 15 years ago, when the kids were in kindergarten,” she said.

She enjoys the annual tradition at the schoolhouse.

“It’s really neat. It’s one of our little small-town things that we treasure,” Ensor said.

38th annual Lutz Arts & Crafts Show
Where: Keystone Prep High School, 18105 Gunn Highway in Odessa
When: Dec. 2, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Dec. 3, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost: Admission is free; parking is $5 per car, with proceeds benefiting the school
Details: More than 300 vendors are expected at the event, which is a popular draw for families because of its holiday atmosphere and its unique shopping opportunities. It also is a juried show, giving artists a chance to win cash prizes.
Info: Call (813) 833-3962


21st annual Christmas at the Old Lutz School
Where:  18819 U.S. 41 N.
When: The evenings of Dec. 7, Dec. 9, Dec. 12, Dec. 14, Dec. 16, Dec. 19, Dec. 21, Dec. 22 and Dec. 26, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Cost: There is no admission, but collection boxes will be there to accept donations of nonperishable food and new, unwrapped toys, for those who are less fortunate.
Details: The school will be open for your viewing pleasure, with entertainment on select nights.

What: Breakfast with Santa at the Old Lutz School
When: Dec. 9, from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Cost: $4, which includes a doughnut, juice and craft
Details: Santa will be there, so families can bring their cameras to take a photo with them. Additional menu items will be available for purchase.
Info: Email  

Published November 22, 2017

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