PUNTA GORDA — There’s a method to the madness inside the tent of Cicily’s Aprons and Stuff.
“NFL teams on one side, collegiate on the other,” said owner Cicily Sykes, pointing to hundreds of handmade barbecue aprons, baby bibs and oven mitts on display Sunday afternoon at the Sullivan Street Arts and Craft Fair in downtown Punta Gorda, where she joined dozens of vendors who showcased their creations and wares this weekend.
“I have pretty much every team but if someone wants something special, I customize,” Sykes said, flashing a toothy smile. “I hand sew each one myself.”
Sponsored by the Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce, the street fair drew hundreds of people from different parts of the country to the city for a weekend of shopping and fun. Vendors displayed a medley of unique creations at the free, two-day event including folk art, pottery, handmade jewelry, paintings and scented soaps, to name a few. Folks strolled down Sullivan Street between Retta Esplanade and Virginia Avenue stopping to take in the sights, enjoy tasty treats and do some shopping.
Mary Gensmer of Punta Gorda was among fairgoers who even did a little early Christmas shopping. Gensmer scored big when she spotted an oven mitt emblazoned with the University of Oklahoma’s football team at Cicily’s Aprons and Stuff.
“My daughter-in-law is going to love this,” Gensmer gasped with delight, turning to her shopping companion, Michelle Metzig of Minnesota. “She’s a crazy nut for the Boomers Sooners. How great is this?”
All smiles, Gensmer quickly plopped down $8 for the mitt.
Sykes was thrilled with the foot traffic, saying she had about 150 people stop by her booth over the course of the weekend.
“They weren’t all purchasers, but that’s OK,” Sykes said. “It was still a good turnout.”
Indiana natives Jean Hill and her friend Rosie Blazek were admiring a tray of silver spoon jewelry pieces and reveling in the warm Florida sun.
A cold front swept through the area Friday, causing most of the weekend to be chilly and windy. Sunday afternoon, however, temperatures were warming up again — perfect weather for strolling through an outdoor fair.
“It’s cold in Indiana,” said Blazek. “We’re elated to be in the warm weather.”