With the calendar turning to November, the holiday season is here for many.
This weekend, the Bayfront Convention Center was home to the annual Holiday Craft and Gift Festival as thousands of people looked to get a head start on seasonal shopping.
In its third year, the Holiday Craft and Gift Festival continues to grow bigger and bigger as more vendors and craftsmen look to show off their work and talents.
It was a record shattering weekend for the organizers of the holiday crafts and gifts festival.
Over 170 vendors took part this year, up from 140 last year. It had so much interest that they had to expand how far into the Bayfront Convention Center shops were placed at.
The show organizer touted that Saturday might have been one of the busiest days that the building has had in its history and noted what that means for artisans and businesses in attendance.
“It’s all local vendors and the theme is to shop local. These folks have been working hard all year to make products and get their products ready. They do very well when they sell because then that keeps it in this economy,” said Mark Concilla, show promoter.
One such business spends days at a time working on one item.
She explained that the artisan community finds inspiration through one another and that the community is incredibly driven.
“There’s all kinds of people who do crafts and maybe one thing that they’re doing that they use in a different way, I can use in my business,” said Debby Dougherty, owner of Great Lakes Wreaths. “There’s a lot of really intelligent, quality crafters.”
Dougherty described the feeling craftsman experience when somebody appreciates their hard work.
“It makes me feel wonderful to know that they’re going to have it on their door, or inside their home and they’re going to think about the event they went to and maybe even me,” she went on to say.
The show promoter said this year’s festival blew all expectations out of the water.