Vendors selling everything from homemade chocolate to handguns gathered at the fairgrounds this weekend to peddle their wares.
The Strawberry Mountain Gun Show and the It’s Almost Spring Bazaar had 21 gun vendors and 25 craft vendors, according to fairgrounds manager Mindy Winegar.
She said the show was smaller than usual because it was the same weekend as Wes Knodel’s Rose City Gun and Knife Show at the Portland Expo Center.
While many of the vendors were from the area, they had sellers from La Grande, Burns and Baker, Winegar said.
Locals Justin May and Brandy Whitmore ran the Ace Hardware gun table at the show. While the table had a variety of firearms, May said people were purchasing more handguns than rifles, specifically the smaller, slimmer pistols designed for concealed carry. The stand operates under Ace’s Federal Firearm License and was able to perform background checks on the spot.
Katherine J. Kuhl of KJ’s Love Truffles had caramel, chocolate dipped spoons and a wide range of flavored chocolates for sale in the craft section of the bazaar. Kuhl and her husband own and run a ranch near Indian Creek, and she sells her treats at farmer’s markets, bazaars and Etc. in John Day.
Another local craftsmen selling his goods was Patrick Burns of Mt. Vernon. Burns hand-makes knives, arrowheads and jewelry from obsidian and other natural and synthetic materials. He said a knife takes roughly four to five hours minimum, and each piece comes with a polished juniper stand for display. He does the majority of his work during the winter and said it’s a good way to pass the time.
Though incredibly sharp and perfectly serviceable, Burns said most of his knives are bought as display pieces.
Almost all of his materials are locally sourced, with the obsidian coming from Glass Buttes in Lake County. Burns enjoys the traditional arts, and has a goal to fill an archery tag with a handmade long bow and traditional arrows.