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A craft show survival guide: Dress comfortably, give yourself plenty of time


Last year more than 30,000 people went to the American Craft Council Craft Show. This year's show, being held this weekend at the Baltimore Convention Center and adjoining Festival Hall, promises to be just as packed.

If you're planning to attend the show, remember: Forewarned is forearmed:

* There will be more than 550 craftspeople selling ceramics, metal, wood, fiber, jewelry, clothing, glass and other media. That's a lot of booths to see, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes and clothing.

* Allow the better part of a day if you want to see everything. Carrying your coat around that long could be tiring, so look for coat checks (fee $1) at the entrance to Festival Hall and at the main Convention Center doors at the corner of Pratt and Charles streets. A passageway connects the two buildings;you won't have to go outside until you're ready to leave. Lockers are also available.

* Parking is available at lots surrounding the Convention Center and in parking garages for nearby hotels.

* With such a large show, there's a chance you may get separated if you're part of a group. There is no paging, so set a time and place to meet -- just in case.

* Food is available. Hall A and Hall E will have food courts with hot platters, salad bar, pasta bar, soups, Oriental stir-fry, vegetarian entrees and desserts. There is also plenty of seating. Lunch and snacks are available in Festival Hall. Drinks and snacks are sold at concession stands throughout both halls.

* Most of the craftspeople accept credit cards as well as personal checks and cash. Prices run the gamut, anywhere from $10 for a ceramic pin up to $4,000 for an upholstered chair.

* If you buy something large or heavy, the vendors will help you get delivery or get the item to your car.

* The entire facility is accessible to the handicapped.

* Admission is $6 for adults. Children under 12 will be admitted free. With such tight spaces, a stroller may be a problem.

* Show hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m today and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m tomorrow.

For more information, call (410) 962-1122.

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