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Locally made arts and crafts fair is a highlight of holiday

Posted: November 26, 2013 - 6:13pm
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Maggie Mae Gaylord, center, examines items displayed by Rowen Mulvey at the 2012 Nutcracker Faire’s Fireweed Gallery booth. Shopping with Maggie Mae are her mother, Allison, and baby brother, Declan.Musicians Lindianna Sarno and Carol Comfort entertain at the 2012 Nutcracker Faire.

Retailers might worry that the traditional post-Thanksgiving holiday season will be crammed into just 26 shopping days, but that’s not a problem at one of Homer’s biggest events, the annual Nutcracker Faire. It’s always a little hectic at the two-day event, held the first weekend in December.

Once again, shoppers from around the Kenai Peninsula and even further north can look for locally made arts and crafts. The Nutcracker Faire, sponsored by the Homer Council on the Arts, runs 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Dec. 7 and noon-6 p.m. Dec. 8, the same weekend the Nutcracker Ballet opens. That’s 14-and-a-half hours of shopping mania, so get out your Christmas list.

What sets the Nutcracker Faire apart from a big-city scene is the quality of its wares. The fair only accepts artisans and crafters who make items from mostly local products. While that can mean screen printed clothing, photographic prints and published books, it’s the creativity by local artists that set items apart. Think of it as a First Friday art opening and a Farmers’ Market rolled into one.

Like First Friday, there will be original art, including booths by Bunnell Street Arts Center, Fireweed Gallery and Local Showcase, and frequent exhibiting artists like Dennis Anderson, Paul Dungan, Ahna Iredale, Gary Lyon, Ruby Haigh and Wild North Photography.

Food vendors seen at the Homer Farmers’ Market you can see again include Sweet Berries Jam and Simply Fresh Salsa. Favorite vendors from the market include Scott Miller’s Wooden Diamond pendants and Jennifer King’s clothing. 

Missed some of those awesome designs at Wearable Arts? You can see designers like Kari Multz or Risa Jackinsky at the Nutcracker Faire. Funky, locally designed clothing also includes the Alaskaloha, Salmon Sisters and Kammi Matson printed lines.

Traditional Alaska Native arts is represented by Martha Murray, with her kuspuks and jewelry. As for other jewelry, guys, if you can’t find a little something for the woman who puts up with you, you’re not looking hard enough. 

Pottery also is a big draw at the Nutcracker Faire, with longtime ceramic artists like Dungan, Iredale and Haigh returning. See new potters in the display of work by Homer High School pottery students. Give the gift of books in art publications by photographer Jim Lavrakas and artist Erik Behnke.

That’s just a short description of the 85 booths that will be at the Nutcracker Faire. With food and drink booths, you won’t go hungry or thirsty, either. A bonus is that at most of the booths, you can meet the artists and crafters.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at michael.armstrong@homernews.com.


Nutcracker Faire

When:

Dec. 7, 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m. 

Dec. 8, noon-6 p.m.

Where:

Homer High School
Commons and Gymnasium

What: Food booths, arts and crafts booth, musical entertainment


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