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Topic: Help! Someone ripped off crafts at our county fair!  (Read 2281 times)
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« on: July 16, 2007 08:00:40 PM »

I am the superintendant of crafty stuff at our county fair.  This year, for the first time, two small quilts and a very nice peice of jewelry were ripped off.  The value amounting to about $250-300.  They were some of the nicest projects there.  Someone had been on guard in the building other years but this year they weren't able to be there all of the time.  We didn't know about this until after the fact.

The area is about 75' by 50' and we use about 25 folding tables between the (1 table)field products, (2)gardening, (5)flowers, (1)canning, (1)baking, (3)art, (2)children, (2)sewing, (3)needlework and (5)crafty stuff. 

Does anyone have any easy/inexpensive ideas to improve the security and cleanliness for the crafty stuff, whether it be for new cases or improvements to the existing folding tables?

Thanks in advance!

Previously the open class exhibits were in a hall of their own.  It was clean and there were glass cases for nearly everything.  What had to be left out wasn't easily accesible.

A new and improved hall was built, next to the barns.  The glass cases were thrown out because the area is used for boat storage in the winter and craft shows and the cases used valuable square footage.  We were promised a large 20' by 4' lighted and lockable walk-in case a few years ago.  It's another rentable space issue.  The area is extremely dusty.  Everything is displayed on tables or hung on the wall, on shelves, poles or bulletin board. 

The fair board (priority is NOT in promoting craftyness) recommends putting everything in ziploc bags. When you look at tables full of ziploc bags, all you see is the light reflecting off the bags, not what's in them.  The wind also blows them around and everything ends up on the floor.  The bags make judging difficult and during judging, the items typically get finger prints and smudges from handling the dusty bags.  The bags offer no security, of course, and finding bags to fit things like flower arrangements is next to impossible.

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« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2007 09:51:23 AM »

I'm sure it is waaaaay too late for this year's fair, but perhaps for next year, you can reuse salvaged windows, and attach them with hinges or even bolt them on to bookcases or shelves(so that thieves would have to have a tool set to get into them, but at then end of the fair they could be unbolted and re-opened--wing nuts wouldn't offer as much security, but are an option, as would be a simple hook and eye latch system- but that wouldn't be as sturdy or look as nice.)
For the cases, either borrow, buy or build sturdy bookshelf style cases.  If they are open on both sides, you can do a double sided display, and for one side cases, it would be easy to insert lights...undercabinet lights are cheap...Christmas lights are cheaper still, and the holiday LED lights would last (nearly)forever and be very safe.

Good luck!

Grant me the strength, endurance, and focus to see it through.
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