A bigger crowd every year

May. 31, 2014 @ 06:36 PM

Three years ago, Serena Smith had her ears pierced at the first Strawberry Jam — a combination of Strawberry Days and the Granville Arts Festival in downtown Oxford.

This year, she explored the growing artisan fair with her family and a friend, Grace Anderson.

“My sister’s birthday is coming up,” the 11-year-old said Saturday. “If I see something I think she’ll like, I’ll probably get her something.”

Grace, also 11, liked the diverse range of musicians who played and a vendor selling tubs of homemade lemon body scrub.

“I just got my hands scrubbed,” she said. “They’re really soft.”

More than 20 artisans sold crafts, jewelry, leather goods, dolls, wooden toys, shirts and candles beneath a clear blue sky and shining sun at the third annual Strawberry Jam, sponsored by the Granville Arts Council, The Downtown Economic Development Commission and the Town of Oxford.

Lyon Farms Strawberries sold fresh berries and other food trucks sold cupcakes, frozen yogurt and Louisiana cuisine.

Abby Rich, 17, and her boyfriend, K.J. Hardie, said they hadn’t planned to come after playing tennis earlier.

“We saw signs in Creedmoor, and we thought this would be a fun place to stop after,” Hardie said.

The Fabulous Daddy-Os, the Top Hat x-Press, the Sunday Pickers Jam and the Vance-Granville Community Band played during the festivities, as well as The St. Cyprian’s Drummers and Danza Ortiz.

Ruth Roberts was selling her hand-crafted jewelry at a large event for the first time on Saturday.

“It’s a hobby I enjoy doing,” she said. “I’ve only done a couple of church functions, but this really like my first show. I’m used to just selling to friends or bringing them to work so this part is new to me.”

With the volume she sold Saturday, Roberts said she could see herself back out at the Strawberry Jam.

“I would love to do it next year,” she said. “Hopefully, this will be like the Hot Sauce Festival and grow every year.”