The Bayfront Convention Center hosted this year’s Holiday Crafts and Gifts Festival.

The yearly fest is always a great chance to see what local crafters are working on and to be able to do some gift scouting for loved ones ahead of the holidays, as it’s one of the biggest craft shows of the season.

It helps people get a head start on holiday shopping and serves as a way to bring business to local artisans. The line to enter the Holiday Crafts and Gifts Festival was all the way out the main entrance to the Bayfront Convention Center.

Over 140 vendors attended the festival to show off their lives’ work and share their passions. Merchants carried everything you could think of: wines, moonshine, woodwork, clothing, jewelry, hand-made decorations and more.

“They spend a lot of time building and creating the items that they have for sale, getting a good jump on the holiday shopping, a good jump on their season, and this is a holiday event that will definitely be here for years to come,” said Mark Concilla, show promoter.

The show promoter also noted the importance of supporting local crafters.

“When you shop local, I think it’s extremely important because that money stays locally. It continues to support our economy in this area, which Erie’s a great place to be, a great place to live, and it’s really nice to see it continue to grow from the efforts of everybody kind of supporting each other,” Concilla added.

One business owner in attendance, Great Lakes Wreaths, said that she’s been making wreaths for 25 years. It started out as a hobby, like many artisans, but now, she’s been able to turn that hobby into a business.

She added that people appreciate the skills and talents that crafters have and want to support that talent.

“I think that it’s wonderful to see how many different styles of crafts there are out there. The community is a big part of pushing crafters into sharing,” said Debby Dougherty, owner, Great Lakes Wreaths.

The Holiday Crafts and Gifts Festival had something for everyone and helped locals get into the holiday spirit.