Pleasures and Treasures ending after 21 years

After 21 years, Pleasures and Treasures is no more.

Over that span, Pleasures and Treasures Countryside Folk Art Faire contributed more than $50,000 to the coffers of local non-profit and needy organizations.

The annual craft show started in 1992. Throughout, it was a project of St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church in Youngsville.

“We had a good run,” Donna Murphy, who was one of the chairs of the event, said. “At our biggest time we had over 140 crafters coming.”

Crafters representing local non-profit organizations were given free space to exhibit and took all of their profits back with them. Other dollars raised by the event were split. “Half of it went to our church, the other half went to outreach organizations… all around the world,” Murphy said.

Those days are gone.

“It has been dwindling over the years,” Murphy said. “Attendance has been down.”

Fewer customers and vendors meant less money for the organizations but about the same amount of work for organizers.

“People don’t realize how much work goes into that,” she said. “You start on next year’s before this year’s is over.”

There was music – “we always had at least one band playing” – and games for kids – “for several years, we had a free kiddie carnival… every game they played they won a prize” – to arrange. There were ventriloquists, clowns, and bagpipers.

And there were the vendors. “I would get calls all day long from the middle of May to the night before the show,” Murphy said. “I would get half a dozen calls a day.”

She said she’ll miss talking with the crafters, many of whom represented and worked to the benefit of local non-profit organizations. But, “it’s nice my phone is not ringing off the wall,” she said.

The event also served to bring the members of the church together. “Everybody at church did something. Whether they donated food, made the food… it was a whole community event of St. Francis,” she said.

“I will miss it,” Murphy said. “I’m finding that I have to clean more just to keep me busy. I was really busy at this time.”

“When that second Saturday in July comes, I won’t know what to do with myself,” she said.

The hole left by the absence of the craft fair will be filled. When and by what have not been determined.

“In the future,” Murphy said. “We don’t know yet what it is.”