CANTON – The fashions have changed over the past 59 years, but the excitement for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Enhancing Fashion Show hasn’t.
The opening event of the Enshrinement Festival, the fashion show has grown from 300 guests to nearly 3,000.
After the meeting was canceled in 2020 and rescheduled for 2021, on Friday guests were welcomed to an indoor format, including a sit-down lunch, at the Canton Memorial Civic Center.
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“After two years of uncertainty…there is no more fitting theme than ‘Toasting to Tradition,'” event co-chair Jill Hetrick told guests. “This (event) is shared between generations of grandmothers, mothers, daughters and friends.”
This year’s show featured fashions for men, women and children from boutiques and national stores.
Host Stephanie Haney, digital anchor and legal analyst for NBC 3 in Cleveland, emceed the event. Returning to Canton and seeing the Rays at the Hall of Fame Festivals means she’s home.
In the year The 2003 Perry High graduate served as Hall of Famer for the 2005 Hall of Fame Festival.
Honey was joined by 2003 Washington High graduate DJ Freddie B as he performed tunes in the event.
The crowd was treated to a performance by two-time Emmy-nominated musician Kofi Boaki, who performed “The Other Boy from Akron” on keyboards and vocals.
The Hall of Fame fashion show continues the tradition
Bea McPherson She served as the first chair of the inaugural fashion show in 1963. Two years later, she presided over the event.
Via video, the 100-year-old’s early years were held at the Onesto Hotel and Canton Jewish Community Center before moving to the Civic Center.
At that time, the committee members asked the owners’ wives to model the fashions of downtown Canton stores, including Paris.
For the first time in several years, the wives, daughters and other family members of the Class of 2022 modeled fashion as they were introduced to the public.
“We were on a shoestring budget,” she said, but no one knew.
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They could not afford elaborate table centerpieces, so committee members sought floral arrangements from local funeral homes.
Tickets cost $3.50 and 300 people attended the first event.
“It’s amazing to see (the event) grow in popularity over the years and continue the tradition,” McPherson said.
Families, friends return year after year
Andrea Severin enjoys a family tradition. The North Canton resident has attended the event with her mother, Anna Marie Wilson, for at least 25 years.
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“It’s very special,” she said. “It’s exciting to have our own event for the Hall of Fame. Other events are focused on football.”
The fashion show has become a reunion, Severin added. She likes meeting other guests.
“It’s all the same people (year after year),” she said. “I look forward to seeing their faces.”
This year, Severin’s friend Charlene Wise joined Severin and her mother.
“It’s a lot of fun,” the Canton resident said before entering. The couple would shop at pop-up shops hosted by 720 Market.
According to their website, it is used to support local businesses by creating 720 unique and unique events at various locations around Stark County.
The pop-up shops had everything from Addis Ababa arrangements to fuzzy walking sticks.
“It’s a great opportunity to get my brand out there,” said Becky Leal, owner, designer and maker at Oakwood Avenue.
Lili crafts jewelry made of clay, wood and leather. She sells her creations online.
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Marisa Hollinger and her husband, Sean Connelly, brought fresh flower arrangements to the market from their sustainable flower farm and venue, Magnolia Spring Farm. They frequently participate in 720 market events.
“I really like doing these. They have a lot more different vendors than other farmers markets,” Hollinger said.
Severin and Sage picked up bouquets from Magnolina Spring Farms and wandered around to the other booths to see what they could find.
While shopping, guests enjoyed a photo booth and mimosa bar.
Severin said the market is a great addition to the event. She only wished she had more time to shop. Pop-up shops were open from 9am to 11am when the Civic Center doors opened. The shops were only available to those with tickets to the fashion show.
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