Craft Fair Game Plan

They can be found down every aisle -- looking at their watches, their shoes, then their watches again. Occasionally, they'll spot another of their own kind, exchange a commiseration nod and continue on their bored way.

They're the husbands dragged to craft shows.

What most of them fail to realize is how much fun is possible even at a tchotchkes show when there's an important game on TV. Don't believe us? Take the Harvest Festival, coming for the 23rd time to Las Vegas this weekend at Cashman Center.

As usual at craft fairs, there are no TVs on site. (Even if there were, they'd only flash vendor commercials.) So a portable game-viewing device, or at least a radio, will solve most dragged-along husband's problems other than a wife who won't tolerate this behavior.

Even in this unfortunate case, however, things of manly interest abound for those who know where to look. Pigskin lovers may be surprised to learn that wind spinners don't just rotate birds and shining suns anymore, but NFL team insignias. (At the Harvest Festival, check them out at the Classy Creations booth. Another booth, Stella's Craft, also uses NFL insignias to decorate sports blankets. Technically, they're called "quillows," but guys should not think about that.)

Hiding among the candleholders and figurines, craft fairs also supply the vessels that hold the most sacred of all guy substances. Beer mugs -- emblazoned with "Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder" and even deeper thoughts -- are commonly available at most potter booths.

Actual beer, too, is usually sold at craft fairs (although it is not actual craft beer). And beer stands are excellent locations for dragged-along husbands lacking portable game-monitoring equipment to meet and engage in anti-craft-fair bonding.

At the Harvest Festival, one of three beer stands forms a large triangle with a concession stand hawking $4 hot dogs and a stage where a male-led rock band plays manly cover tunes. This area may be thought of as the dragged-along-husband man cave, a sanctuary for cussing, crotch adjustments and passing $4 hot dog gas. Wives will instinctively get the not-welcome hint.

However, husbands should beware of spending too much time alone in the man cave, because expensive jewelry shopping is nearby and that hot dog and beer could end up costing $1,500.

One of the biggest benefits for a husband dragged to a craft fair that attracts mostly women is that it attracts mostly women. Husbands can't touch, but they can look -- as long as they're not creepy about it and stand outside a ladies room. (At the Harvest Festival, we suggest the Fun Files booth, where decorated glass nail files attract females who groom themselves regularly.)

Finally, dragged-along husbands can expect to enjoy a favor after the experience. Depending on the wife, this could mean a night out with the boys until 2 a.m., a present usually tendered only on a birthday, or even a get-out-of-jail free card for not noticing that she cut an inch off her hair last week.

To claim this favor, however, it's important that dragged-along husbands not reveal any enjoyment this article may have helped them experience.

So, shh.

Contact reporter Corey Levitan at or 702-383-0456.