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Greenport arts fair celebrates its 21st year

Elena Rodilico, 8, of Huntington, and Lauren Martin,

Elena Rodilico, 8, of Huntington, and Lauren Martin, 8, of New Jersey, show off their face paint at the Greenport Arts and Crafts Fair. (July 15, 2012) (Credit: Arielle Dollinger)

Rich Weiss searches the beaches of the North Fork looking for “mermaids’ tears” -- tiny pieces of colored material that others might call “beach glass.”

The 67-year-old Riverhead resident and Vietnam War veteran collects the glass and uses it to make necklaces, which he sells at craft fairs.

“I do have a lot of people that follow me around,” said Weiss, who served in the Army from 1964 to 1984.

And for those who follow him, this weekend may have meant a visit to Greenport to stop by the Greenport Arts and Crafts Fair, where Weiss and 38 other vendors set up tables and tents to sell their wares.

The fair is organized by the Greenport Rotary Club, which is led by club president Eileen Solomon, 56, of Mattituck.

“We’re a humanitarian organization that just wants to make the world a better place through peace and understanding,” said Solomon, who works in the community relations office of Eastern Long Island Hospital in Greenport.

The festival is in its 21st year, and Solomon describes it as “very hometown and fun.”

Carol Burgess, 52, of Orlando, Fla., stopped by the fair during her weeklong vacation to Greenport.

“I think it’s great,” she said, and pointed at a brown paper shopping bag holding two Yankees T-shirts.

She said she enjoyed “just seeing the people, all the different crafts.”

Loretta Martin, 76, of North Carolina, is one of the people who creates those crafts.

The former Massapequa Park resident sat knitting, shaded by a wide-brimmed hat adorned with fake sunflowers, as she waited for customers to take a look at her jewelry display.

“I love to put jewelry together,” said Martin, who has been making jewelry for at least 10 years. “It makes me feel creative.”

Tags: Greenport

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