Shoppers flock to traveling Shipshewana craft show at Expo Center
By Amy Lavalley Post-Tribune correspondent December 14, 2013 5:22PM
Bob Smith, with D.C. Vending in Elkhart, completes a sale Saturday during Shipshewana on the Road at the Porter County Expo Center. | Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 16, 2014 7:03AM
VALPARAISO — A few inches of snow Saturday couldn’t stop shoppers looking for holiday goods during the annual Shipshewana on the Road craft fair at the Porter County Expo Center.
Julie Lepper, president of the traveling market, which also makes a spring stop at the expo center, said this year’s event included 215 booths. While last year’s market drew 13,000 people — “It was a very good year for us,” she said — she wasn’t sure what kind of crowd she’d have this year because of the snow.
Still, folks lined up before the market opened to get in to shop.
“We could put on a show that’s three times the size but we don’t have the heated space,” she said.
Shipshewana on the Road continues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Porter County Expo Center, 215 E. Division Road. Admission is $4, and free for children 12 and under.
Shoppers, including many who brought their own shopping baskets, browsed holiday and home décor, snacks, clothing, handbags, and a wide array of other goods.
Friends Vita Hunke of Merrillville and Sharon Davis of Hebron came to check out what the market had to offer.
“It’s all the different crafts, all the demonstrations, and the sampling of different foods,” Hunke said, adding the two also tried out a back-support brace. “It felt pretty good.”
The two were just getting started with their shopping, and said they didn’t have anything specific in mind.
“I buy stuff if I find something I really want,” Davis said.
Suzanne Ross and her daughter, Stephanie, came to the market with family from their home in Gurnee, Ill. The women got a hotel room Friday night to make a girls’ weekend out of the shopping.
“So far we like it,” Ross said. “We’re just looking.”