LAKELAND -- Hungry frolickers deliberated seriously Saturday afternoon over cotton candy, funnel cakes and mouth-watering barbecue while perusing handmade goodies made by crafters near and far.
The 35th annual Flatlanders Fall Frolic Arts and Crafts Show kicked off with around 125 exhibitors, various food vendors and games for the kids, including a rock-climbing wall and prize booths.
A hand-written sign outside the Lakeland United Methodist Church's face-painting booth said $1 donations would go toward a disaster relief fund for victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Darla Jackson, youth director, said the teens man a booth every year and pick various charitable organizations to donate proceeds.
"One hundred percent of the money will go to relief efforts," Jackson said.
Many patrons walked by and handed the teens cash, and Jackson said one man gave her $15.
Fifteen-year-old Travis Sandlin painted faces for children during the afternoon.
Sandlin said hurricane victims needed help and the teens felt they could contribute by giving this year's funds toward people in need.
Helen Strickland, event coordinator, said Flatlanders is synonymous with Lakeland and she enjoys planning activities year-round.
"Much of what we have here are one-of-a-kind collectibles," Strickland said. "We've had a lot of people and we've been really blessed by the weather."
Strickland pioneered the event in 1971 with two other families, the Shaws and Ragsdales, when the show had 37 exhibitors.
Four years later the craft show was added, and Strickland said Flatlanders has seen up to 160 exhibitors at a given event.
Persons young and old munched on salty-sweet kettle corn and admired unique craftsmanship.
Clark McKinnon of Three Stripe Canoes explained how he makes canoes using western red cedar and cypress by hand.
"They can take a lot of abuse and are durable," McKinnon said, adding the western red cedar was light enough to throw over a shoulder and carry.
McKinnon learned the trade in Canada and demonstrated "strip construction" which gives the canoe a sleek, durable body.
This was his first year exhibiting at Flatlanders.
Strickland said she expects more crowds today as the frolicking continues.
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