Annual Trade Fair attracts sizeable crowd to Coupeville

"Cherub Mackner of Langley's Living Green finishes a Trade Fair transaction with Sarah Grant, a South Whidbey resident who couldn't resist an almond poppyseed cookie.Jim Larsen/staff photoA great success, is how the Island District Economic Development Council summarized the annual Uniquely Whidbey Trade Fair and Home Show held in Coupeville.Sunshine greeted visitors last Saturday, with the town's high school and middle school filled with displays from more than 100 businesses from throughout the island.It's been wonderful, quite a few people have been coming through, said Janice Vaughan, manager of the Coupeville branch of Whidbey Island Bank. She was talking to Ben Costello of Clinton, who has had an account with Whidbey Island's home bank since 1987.Laura McDonald was doing a brisk business at Laura Lee's Lighthouse and Watkins products. I've been real busy, she said. Everybody remembers dear old Watkins.By noon, a line of some 30 people had formed outside the Coupeville Chamber of Commerce Brat Fry booth, manned by Art Firoito of Gig Harbor. He said he was commissioned by Johnsonville, the sausage manufacturer, to spend the weekend in Coupeville. They donated the brats, he said as he dumped another dozen into a large vat of boiling water.Scott Lincoln of Lincoln Computer in Clinton has been a Home Show regular since the event started years ago on South Whidbey. He said Saturday's early crowd was good and showed promise for a big weekend. And there's quite a few Southenders, he said, referring to the familiar faces he saw perusing the many booths.While many of the old stalwarts reappeared for the 2000 show, Marvis Oehm of Oak Harbor was a new presence with her Oak Harbor Trace Creations. She sells creative rubber stamps designed by her sister Pamela Treece. It's our first year and so far it's going very well, she said. A lot of people already have our stamps and they're buying more.The Island District Economic Development Council office was closed late this week, so no official crowd estimate was available. But most merchants would probably agree that it was one of the best Trade Fairs ever. "

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