It's still a week before Thanksgiving, but it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Eagle and Gypsum.
Holiday lights are popping up on homes and businesses and Christmas goodies already crowd the shelves at local stores. On Friday, Nov. 18 and Saturday, Nov. 19, one of the traditional heralds of the holiday season comes to the Eagle River Center at the Eagle County Fairgrounds - the Holiday Artisan and Craft Fair.
This year's show is twice as big as last year and will feature more than 60 vendors including a wide variety of items such as fine art, precious and semi-precious jewelry, handmade items, gourmet foods and candies, and much more.-
The fair opens from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday and then from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
"We hope to see lots of people drop by to get some Christmas shopping done," said Holli Snyder of NRC Broadcasting, event organizer. "The fair offers loads of custom and one-of-a-kind gifts and various items for any budget."
During the fair's Friday night kick-off, the Eagle Chamber of Commerce, the Gypsum Chamber and the Vail Valley Partnership are hosting a joint mixer. HP's Provisions of Eagle will cater the event and there will be several giveaways, including a pair of Dierks Bentley concert tickets and a two night stay at the Silverleaf Suites in Eagle. Also on tap for Friday night will be a fashion show presented by Everyday Outfitters.
When the doors open on Saturday, the first 50 shoppers who bring in a bag of canned goods for the Salvation Army will receive a free box of Enstrom's Toffee. Throughout the event, Winter Fair and Holiday Market will feature a variety of great giveaways for attendees including sustainably caught salmon, hand crafted earrings and the world's smallest solar powered car. In addition there will be a special drawing for tickets to see Brad Paisley or Lady Antebellum and dinner for six prepared by HP's Provisions.
Integra Auto is sponsoring a kids zone at the event featuring bouncy castles and arts and crafts. Musical entertainment will be offered throughout the fair. On Saturday children can enjoy a visit from Santa and Cameron Lowe photography will be providing professional photography services.
Local 4-H kids will be serving a breakfast and lunch items as a club fund-raiser on Saturday.
In addition to the diverse array of artisans and crafts and gourmet food items, there will also be a Christmas Tree Auction to benefit the Salvation Army. Businesses, decorators and artists have decorated Christmas trees, which will be on display throughout the Winter Market and Holiday Fair. Bidding will be conducted through a Silent Auction and will conclude at the end of the show. Winners may take home their beautiful trees to display.