Ocean City Today

Delmarva Wool and Fiber Expo in OC this weekend

By Kara Hallissey | Nov 23, 2017
Last year, the Delmarva Wool and Fiber Expo provided Taryn Loughery, 9, from Columbia, the opportunity to make a new furry acquaintance at the Ocean City convention center.

(Nov. 24, 2017) Residents and visitors can kick start their holiday shopping during the annual Delmarva Wool and Fiber Expo at the convention center on 40th Street, this weekend.

“This event is a gathering of vendors that specialize in wool and alpaca products,” Organizer Susan Childs said. “Each vendor is juried to assure that they will fit into the theme of our event. It [was started] to promote the local farmer and provide a means for them to sell their products.”

Festivities will take place Friday through Sunday, Nov. 24-26, with 20 vendors selling wool, yarn and wood products in addition to supplies, kits and one-of-a-kind gifts.

“They will be selling different fibers from angora, alpaca and different types of wools,” Childs said. “They will have supplies to make products. I will have a local Berlin vendor that will be selling spinning wheels and looms.”

A number of door prizes have been donated by each vendor and attendees also have the option to take a class for an additional fee on Friday or Saturday. Classes are limited and buying a ticket in advance is suggested.

The workshops include continental-style knitting, hand painting yarn, sock art, creating a bird-themed needle felted applique and making felted soap.

“The classes vary from very easy and fun like felted soap – this would make a wonderful Christmas present – to a three-hour class where you will walk away knowing how to knit,” Childs said. “The other classes include a felt applique class taught by a national award-winning teacher, a wool-dying class where you take natural wool and turn it into something colorful, and a painting on wool class.”

She encourages attendees to interact and talk with the knowledgeable vendors. Eleven have participated in the past and nine are new to the show and debuting their products this weekend.

“People that are interested in fiber work need to attend for the education that these amazing vendors can pass along,” Childs said. “The colors of the fibers are brilliant and they are all so very soft.”

Merchants from Delaware and Maryland will be in attendance, in addition to vendors based in Virginia, North Carolina, New York and Pennsylvania.

One of the vendors, Goatopia, located in Whaleyville, will return this year with goat milk-based products made by hand including soaps, lotions, lip balms, body wash, liquid hand soap and laundry detergent. Visitors are also encouraged to visit its goats at the show.

In 2016, about 3,000 people come out to the convention center for the expo.

The Delmarva Wool and Fiber Expo debuted in 2014 as Fiber Fest after Childs had been considering for a couple of years about hosting an event for knitters.

She was always knitting in public places such as the doctor office, the beach or while camping and people would tell her they wished a class was available.

After some research, Childs realized all knitting classes in Berlin, Ocean City and Bethany Beach were during the week.

In addition, Childs raised sheep for a period of time and found small farmers have a hard time selling and distributing their product.

“I organized this show for the local small farm as a means for them to distribute their product,” Childs said. “This show was an opportunity to be able to sell the raw wool or processed wool to the public.”

Tickets for a one-day pass costs $3, or $5 for the weekend. Tickets can be purchased at the door. The festival will run Friday, Nov. 24 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event will continue Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“The Ladies Auxiliary from the Bishopville Volunteer Fire Department will be selling Rada knives to help pay for their new fire truck,” Childs said. “Look for Justifiably Julia when you first get into the convention center. They will be our official Wool and Fiber Expo greeters.”

The Delmarva Wool and Fiber Expo will also return this winter, Feb. 9-11.

For more information and a full list of vendors, visit www.woolandfiber.com or contact Childs at 443-235-2926.

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