By Molly Flodder—
MUNCIE, IN—Is it possible to shop for Christmas on a busy fall day in Delaware County? In spite of all the fall farm activities, farmers’ markets, Ball State University football game and several other events—it is.
This Saturday, October 14, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. the Ross Community Center, 1110 W. 10th Street, Muncie, will host an Art and Gift Fair during which more than 20 local artists and vendors will display and sell their wares. That occasion, along with an opportunity to buy lunch, offers one of several event options.
According to Jacqueline Hanoman, executive director, there is even another shopping event at the same time. “Hillcroft Services is hosting its twice annual ‘Shop and Share’ on the opposite side of Muncie during the same time frame. As people leave our event, we are promoting theirs and they are promoting ours.
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“If we didn’t have enough going on,” said Hanoman, “the solar system had to get in on the act and put on a partial eclipse of the sun.”
Among the displays and gifts at the Art and Gift Fair there will be pairs of viewing glasses for shoppers to check out the eclipse from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. A retired Ball State University science professor has prepared information about the eclipse for shoppers and their families.
“We will have items to buy from keychains to pottery,” said Linda Clark, co-chair of the event. “We’ll have paintings, jewelry, decorated boxes, mosaics, children’s books and more. We even have an artist coming from out of county who decorates gourd birdhouses with paint and glazes.”
Although the center will be accepting donations, entry is free. “Our purpose,” said Hanoman, “is to bring people to see where we are and what we do. We are a multi-generational community center focusing on health, wellness, education and lifelong learning. Our campus includes three baseball diamonds and a soccer field. Among our services is a bi-weekly food market at which families may pick up food, including meat and fresh produce.”
Since the market began during the Covid-19 pandemic days of 2020, the Ross Community Center has given away more than 900,000 pounds of food on a weekly basis, changing only recently to bi-weekly.
As the group reached out to find Delaware County food trucks for the event on this busy day, they quickly learned that most of the vendors were already booked, some even going as far as the Park County Covered Bridge Festival. “We looked wide and far,” said Clark, “and are pleased to be having ‘The Mustard Seed’ from Anderson. Their mission is to serve delicious hand-crafted food while supporting area growers.
“Their menu includes chicken sandwiches and tenders, homemade fries, pork BBQ sandwiches, chicken tacos, pork carnitas, and lasagna with salad and garlic bread, to name a few,” continued Clark. Donations and tips go to support the Mustard Seed Life Ministries’ mission of feeding the homeless and food insecure members of the Madison County community.