SALEM - Area residents partial to antiques or crafts can find both from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Centennial Park besides helping the Salem Kiwanis celebrate 50 years of antiquing to serve.
The club chartered in Salem in 1921 will host its 50th annual Antique and Craft Show, one of the city's enduring summer activities which attracts people from all over. The show first started with strictly antiques in 1964 and used to be held at Reilly Stadium.
For many years now, Centennial Park has served as the setting, with crafts added in recent years to expand the vendor base and meet the requests of both the people and dealers. The crowds and the vendors have both grown a little smaller since some of the earlier days, sometimes with the weather playing a factor, but there's also a strong repeat contingent.
Salem High School Key Club member Taylor Sienerth spray paints lot lines at Centennial Park with help from club mate Olivia Bachmeier in preparation for the 50th annual Salem Kiwanis Antiques & Craft Show and Sale from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the park. Members of both clubs helped set up the park Wednesday evening. (Salem News photo by Kevin Howell)
"Some have been coming a lot of years," Kiwanis Past President Shawna L'Italien said, but adding "some brand new vendors are coming this year on both the crafts and antique side."
Kiwanis President Melanie Thirion said they've added entertainment and children's games as part of the 50th year festivities. Stormn Normn will be featured from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Terry Kreps will play from 2 to 4 p.m.
The games will be available throughout the day, including twister, tic tac toe, memory match game, bubbles and corn hole.
One of the features of the day has been the basket auction and raffle, with 70 baskets and other items up for grabs this year. Tickets for the basket raffles are $1 each or six for $5. Some items will be part of a silent auction. The Habitat for Humanity ReStore will be there and Salem Key Club, a youth service group overseen by Salem Kiwanis, will help with the games and sell water. Two food vendors will be available. A crafter will also have alpacas at the show.
When asked how an event like this keeps going for such a long time, L'Italien gave credit to the community.
"I think it really shows the community support for our Kiwanis Club," she said.
Thirion said they're excited about the show and looking forward to Saturday. This is the club's main fundraiser, with proceeds from spot fees and the basket raffle and auction used to support the club's service projects.
Salem Mayor John Berlin issued a proclamation on Wednesday to declare Saturday as Salem Kiwanis Day in honor of the 50th anniversary of the antique and craft show. The proclamation noted how the club has been a big part of the Salem community since its inception, "helping with countless community service programs, including the Second Street parking lot cleanup, Fat Tuesday, Car Seat Safety Check, building pavilions in the Salem parks, Adopt a Highway Programs and starting the Salem Youth Soccer program.
The club sponsors the Salem Key Club, Boys and Girls State and the annual Punt, Pass and Kick competition.
"The Kiwanis Club of Salem helps guide the young people in Salem to help make our community a better place to live and call home," the proclamation said.
L'Italien said "the club always steps up for the show."
On Wednesday members started marking the spots at the park and by Friday they'll be putting up stakes. At 5:30 a.m. the day of the show, they'll roll into the park with donuts in hand to help vendors with setup and get the show ready for the public. Throughout the day they'll be working on cleaning up the trash and by 5:30 p.m., the park will be emptied out.
They gave a lot of praise to the Salem City Parks Department for their help in getting Centennial Park ready for the annual event and providing a beautiful place for the show and sale.
The event is free to the public. Parking on the baseball field is also free, but donations are accepted.