Stock up on holiday gifts at the Annual Arts Fair

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By Jennifer Garcia

With Christmas right around the corner, shopping will be at the top of the to-do list soon enough. Early birds can get a jump-start on their holiday shopping on Saturday when Los Alamos County Employee Fund Committee holds their Annual Arts and Crafts Fair. Vendors will sell their merchandise from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Fuller Lodge. There is no fee for admission.

The public is encouraged to attend this event where they can find jewelry, baked goods, wooden pictures, arts and crafts, knitting, pot holders, homemade sweaters, honey and much more. Food booths selling Frito pies and Indian bread will also be available. Between 400-500 people check out the arts fair annually. Vendors are located downstairs and also in a room upstairs at Fuller Lodge.

According to Shirley Huber, an office specialist for the county’s Information and Technology division, the fair has been running for at least 20 years. Huber has been in charge of organizing the event since 1997.

The fee for vendors is $25 for a table space and there are typically 25-30 vendors who display their wares. Huber said that most of the vendors have taken part in the fair before. In fact, she usually contacts the vendors from the year before to see if they want to participate again.

“Somebody will tell somebody else and they’ll come in,” she said of new vendors.

Huber said that most of the vendors either work for the county, or they are family members or friends of people who are employed by the county.

Huber said that vendors keep their prices reasonable and though there is no single popular item, she said that most people tend to flock to the jewelry vendors. She also said that some people start their holiday shopping early by buying mittens, hats and gloves.

In some cases, she said that people would also buy these items from the arts fair so that they could donate them to the homeless.

“They have mitten trees at their church and they do that,” Huber said.

Sweaters and blankets are also popular items. Huber said that it’s common to have people who go to the fair looking for baby shower gifts, as well.

Huber enjoys watching people that turn out for the fair.

“I think seeing all the people and watching what they buy and what they look at is the best part,” she said.