MUSKOGEE, Okla. — Bargain hunters will flock the south shores of Lake Tenkiller this weekend.

The 48th annual Fin and Feather Fall Festival, which runs Friday through Sunday, is expected to draw hundreds to the resort, about seven miles north of Gore.

“This time of year gets people thinking about decorating for fall or Christmas,” Festival coordinator Lezli Pool said, adding that many also come for early Christmas shopping.

Shoppers can find several decorating and gift ideas at the Fur Babies booth. Items include burlap wreaths decorated for fall, needlework tissue holders, pouffy Christmas wreaths made of deco mesh, plus dozens of beaded bracelets.

“Everyone makes what they are good at,” said Melinda Tye, who made the Christmas wreaths.

Fur Babies founder Delsie Lewis said 11-year-old volunteer Emily Miller is a “bracelet-making fool.”

This is the third year Fur Babies has had a booth at Fin and Feather, Lewis said.

“Last year, we cleared $900, she said. Fur Babies is a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding homes for stray or abandoned pets in the Muskogee area.

Pool said the Fin and Feather Fall Festival is unique in how vendors fill the resort property.

“We try to keep it to about 175 vendors,” Pool said. “We have vendors who have been here for decades.”

Chuck and Debbie Mertz of Opolis, Kan., have brought their Country Crafts to the show for 33 years. 

“People out there are like family,” Debbie Mertz said.

“We try not to miss Finn and Feather,” said Laurie West of Porter, who operates “Designs for Living” with her mother, Olivia Stinnett of Big Cabin.

West said she and her mother sew and embroider kitchen accessories, including tea towels, aprons, oven mitts and casserole carriers. West said the festival is run by “fun people.”

“Lezli Pool is just a sweetheart,” she said.

The excitement extends beyond resort grounds as area churches and communities hold their own flea markets, garage sales and other events.

For example, the Scrap Happy Quilters will exhibit nearly 100 quilts and other items during their annual show, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Gore High School gym.

The guild will have a drawing for a quilt. Proceeds from the drawing will help support the groups charitable products including making quilts for area nursing homes and hospitals.

Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or cspaulding@muskogeephoenix.com.

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