The Andover Townsman
---- — Clouds gave way to sun, which gave way to shoppers, who filled the downtown green on Saturday for the 39th annual Crafts in the Park.
Organizers said as soon as the skies cleared in the early afternoon, people started streaming in to The Park at Chestnut and Bartlet streets to browse the booths and enjoy the day.
The event boasted a record 165 participants this year selling everything from plants to paintings to handwoven baskets and carefully sewn doll clothes. The juried fair accepts only crafters offering items handmade in America, which organizers say is what makes it unique in the region.
After running the popular Mother’s Day weekend event for many years, the local chapter of American Field Service handed off the reins last year to Christ Church Andover, which has continued to grow the fair. Proceeds are used to support the church’s mission and outreach to the local communities, with funds benefiting such greater Andover organizations as Habitat for Humanity, Esperanza Academy, Bread and Roses, Neighbors in Need, Lazarus House and the Merrimack Valley Project.
The church also sponsors a preschool program and Andover Thrift Shop and provides a music program open to the public.
On Saturday, the church saw plenty of support for those programs, as people turned out in droves for the fair.
“It’s a proud tradition,” Jan Burkholder said.