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“Bringing the community together”

Mantua VFW hosts craft show with memorial in mind

The sign for the Capt. Frank J. Culkin Memorial Pavilion in Mantua is named for the township VFW’s late quartermaster and will be the setting for the fair and craft show on Oct. 22.
Joseph Metz/The Sun

To help bring the community together and promote the new Capt. Frank J Culkin Memorial Pavilion, the Mantua VFW will host its first harvest fair craft show at its building’s pavilion on Saturday, Oct. 22.

“The whole purpose of it is really to bring the community together and to let them know that this area is available there,” said Peg Wilson, who helps at the event and whose husband is a VFW member. “They do concerts and stuff out underneath the pavilion. So it’s sort of (meant) to bring awareness to the area.”

There will be a variety of craft vendors at the show, according to Wilson, including vendors who specialize in wreath making and stained glass. A truck provided by Pinspiration from East Greenwich will provide canvas boards for kids to splatter paint on. Most of the vendors are local to both Mantua and Gloucester County.

The pavilion is named after the Mantua VFW post’s late quartermaster. It offers a large, shaded area, ceiling fans and even phone-charging stations at tables that will be set aside in the grassy area behind the pavilion to make room for the vendors. Names of those who were part of the VFW post in the past and their military ranks are recognized with scattered plaques.

“The pavilion was dedicated on May 14, 2022,” said Mantua VFW post commander Martin Valdez. “This is a community project. “It’s dedicated to that guy there,” he added, pointing to the pavilion’s entrance sign showing Culkin. “He’s passed, but he had the forethought, the vision, to set aside money from different events and it built up.”

Direct sales vendors will also be at the craft show, and there will be food and music. Valdez said one of the VFW members will cook breakfast sandwiches and other items. Local singer Kelsey Cohen will entertain.

“I’m anticipating it won’t be the last (harvest fair craft show),” said Valdez.

Craft show hours are between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.


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