Lutz Arts & Crafts Show features hundreds of vendors

If you’re looking for some unique and interesting holiday gifts, you’ll have plenty of choices at the 39th annual Juried Arts & Crafts Holiday Show presented by the GFWC Lutz-Land O’ Lakes Woman’s Club on the weekend of Dec. 1 and Dec. 2.

Jim Murray, of Geneva, stirs this giant kettle as the intense heat rapidly pops kernels into kettle corn, during the arts and craft show last year. He wears protective gear to avoid injury from hot oil and sugar, if it splashes out. (File)

The event will be at Keystone Prep High School, 18105 Gunn Highway in Odessa.

The show, which raises money for scholarships and other community causes, will feature booths that are both outdoors and inside the school’s gymnasium.

Admission is free, but a $5 parking fee will be collected by Keystone Prep students.

Artist Terry Smith, who has been selling at the event nearly since the show’s inception,  has seen tremendous change through the years.

“In 1981, I entered the Lutz Art Show,” Smith explained. “It was at the Old (Lutz) School House (on U.S. 41) and I was actually inside,” he said.

He sold 16 of the 24 paintings he had on display.

Lucy Fraser, owner of Castle Green Art Glass, was among last year’s vendors. She uses mostly bead and wire to construct these intricate sculptures.

The artist — who enjoys painting landscapes and wildlife, said he always seeks out a corner booth so he can be spotted easily by patrons.

Initially, his works were in watercolor, but he’s expanded to include acrylics and oils.

This year’s arts and crafts show will feature a wide array of vendors, including those offering paintings, photographs, handcrafted jewelry, and artworks fashioned from wood and metal, as well.

Chuck Poppelreiter and his wife will be there with their quilted-wall hangings, wreaths and ornaments.

“We’ve been doing it so many years, we know the routine – what to do, what not to do,” said Poppelreiter, noting he’s been selling at the show for about 20 years.

Over the years, he has witnessed new generations attend, as children become parents and parents become grandparents.

Emily Behnke, of Tampa, checks out a jewelry display while her 2 ½-month-old niece, Madelyn Fannin, chooses to snooze during last year’s event.

“The old shoppers know us by name,” he said.

While there are many familiar faces, customer preferences have changed over time, he noted. Two decades ago, patrons were searching for “country items,” but that’s not true anymore, he said. And, as customer tastes change, vendors must respond.

There will be a food court available for guests to dine, and at 1 p.m., Santa will drop by for a visit on both days.

Vendors also have the opportunity to win cash prizes and ribbons in a juried show.

Parking fees will benefit Keystone Prep, while proceeds from the event will go towards the Woman’s Club in furthering their community causes.

The show will be on Dec. 1 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Dec. 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Patrons are asked to only bring service dogs if necessary, with the proper documentation.

For more information, call Lois Cohen at (813) 528-1179, or email .

39th annual Juried Arts & Crafts Holiday Show
Where: Keystone Prep High School, 18105 Gunn Highway in Odessa
When: Dec. 1, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Dec. 2, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost: Free admission; parking $5
Details: Shoppers have the chance to choose handcrafted items and unique holiday gifts from about 350 vendors. Santa will be dropping by for a visit, and there will be a food court, too.
Info: Call Lois Cohen at (813) 528-1179, or email

Published November 21, 2018

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