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Henry County Holiday Bazaar

New Castle’s Burnett to sell
his miniature farm implements

17th annual event to feature
30-plus artisans, crafts people

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

NEW CASTLE, Ky. (November 2009) – Anything you see on a farm, Christopher Burnett can make. Since his first toy show in 1986, Burnett has been molding, assembling, painting and customizing miniature farm implements out of die-cast metal to the delight of old and young alike.

Chris Burnett

Photo by Helen McKinney

Chris Burnett make
farm implements
that are slightly larger
than Hot Wheels.

At 1/70 scale, his farm toys are a bit larger in size than Hot Wheels. Burnett, 36, began custom building the miniatures in 1984. Since then he has learned what he knows on his own, spending many hours perfecting his technique.
“The more you do it, the better you get at it,” said the Campbellsburg, Ky., native. Adults are interested in his collectable farm toys, said Burnett. Sales have begun to pick up between the 12-18 age market because of FFA members who construct farm displays for contests.
Burnett has crafted tractors, pickups, tractor implements and silos, many of which have been custom built from scratch. He can customize the toys with decals, exhaust pipes, cabs, drive axle and dual tires. “A lot of customers want pulling tractors,” he said.
After college, Burnett became a teacher and only built farm toys as a hobby. He has since then gone full-time with this second career. He wants his miniatures to “look like the real ones, only shrunk down in size,” he said.
His wife, Alissa, teaches and helps him when she can.
“I’m on the road a lot doing 34 shows a year,” Burnett said. He travels to toy shows in Tennessee, Michigan and Iowa.
Burnett is just one of more than 30 artisans and craftspeople who will be set up at the 17th annual Henry County Extension Holiday Bazaar on Saturday, Nov. 14 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the 4-H Fairgrounds Building. It is located on Hwy. 421 between New Castle and Pleasureville.
The Holiday Bazaar is sponsored by the Henry County Homemakers Organization with the intent of providing a unique shopping experience close to home, without all the hassle of driving to Louisville in heavy traffic during the holiday season. The wide variety of items at the Bazaar “will help you fill up those stockings with no problem at all,” said Maryellen Garrison, Henry County Extension Agent.
Items for sale include hand stitched wool designs, sterling silver and natural stone earrings, music boxes, painted gourds, wool chair mats, wood turned bowls and vases, tobacco art, nature photography, stools, purses, painted furniture, ornaments, soy candles, leather items, rare African violets, and baked goods. Senior Citizens with the Tri-County Community Action Agency will have soups, sandwiches and desserts available for purchase.
The Henry County Homemakers Organization sells chances on theme baskets for a Teddy Bear Tree every year. Saundra Smith is a member of the Homemakers, in addition to being a member of the Henry County Arts and Crafts Guild. As an artist, she will have painted gourds, stools, jewelry and purses on display for sale.
Since the first Bazaar was held, it has “really improved in quality. There are more skilled artisans who take part,” said Smith. Many participants are also Guild members.
Much of the appeal of the Holiday Bazaar has to do with “the wide variety of items we have,” Smith said. Shoppers can find unique gifts, a majority of them handmade.
Because this is a fundraising activity for the Henry County Homemakers, they do not limit the participants to hand-crafted items only, said Smith. “It is open to anyone that wants to rent a booth space and basically to whatever they want to sell.”
One such individual is Teresa Baker, who will be selling Longaberger baskets and pottery that she does not craft herself. “I wish I could say that I actually make these beautiful baskets and pottery, but they are made in Dresden, Ohio, by the Longaberger Factory,” said Baker. The baskets are hand-made by employees at the Longaberger Factory and Baker is a home consultant for the company.
This will be the fourth year Burnett has participated in the Holiday Bazaar. The biggest advantage to it is that “we get to see local people,” he said. When he attends a toy show, the closest one is one-hour away.
Shopping the Holiday Bazaar saves gas, money and time for locals. “If you’re looking for the perfect Christmas gift for the person who has everything, this is the place to shop,” said Smith.

• For more information, call the Henry County Extension Office at (502) 845-2811.

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