Fall Fest Returns to Polk State College After COVID-19 Hiatus
by James Coulter
For the first time in a long time, Polk State College in Winter Haven hosted its annual Fall Fest with several hundred vendors selling festive fall and holiday arts and crafts.
On Saturday, the PSC Winter Haven Campus showcased dozens upon dozens of local arts and crafts vendors, with handcrafted merchandise ranging from holiday wreaths and stockings to ornaments and embroidered clothing.
The annual fall festival was brought back this year after the event was postponed for the past two years due to COVID-19. Many of these locals artists and craftsman have been attending since the festival’s start more than 30 years ago. For others like Sharon Tribble, it was their first time.
Tribble makes homemade holiday wreaths for various occasions through her business, Wreaths for All Seasons. Many of them are festive, while others show team spirit for sports team such as the Dalla Cowboys, which are her favorite.
“I love it,” she said. “The wreaths, seeing the look on peoples face, seeing them happy. I enjoy making them happy.”
Another new vendor, Eloise Jones, sold her custom merchandise for the first time at Fall Fest. She loves to sew, and she showcased many of her embroidered items including purses and wallets.
“I wanted to come to different colleges all over Lakeland and Winter Haven,” she said.
Another young lady, Stacey, displayed and sold her homemade ornaments. She creates them from old toy figurines, which she places inside old empty jars to make handcrafted glass ornaments. She loves Disney, which is apparent from her apparel, most of which she sells on Etsy.
“The ornaments sell pretty good,” she said. “I like being able to show off what I have made and seeing what everyone else has made.”