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Davis, California

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Holiday Craft Fair features local artists, holiday wares


Davis Senior Center supports programs with funds from event revenue

The city of Davis participated in upcoming holiday festivities by hosting the Holiday Craft Fair at the Davis Senior Center on Nov. 3. The event brought together local businesspeople and raised money for the venue, offering Davis residents an opportunity to support their community.

Complete with complimentary gift wrapping and refreshments, the fair encouraged event-goers to invest in the crafts of artists local to the Davis and Sacramento areas. Regional vendors displayed their homemade items, ranging from knitted pieces to self-illustrated and written books to woodwork.

“It’s a way to support local and regional artists and crafters because we have close to 30 vendors who will be showcasing handmade items, which can be the antidote to big-box and mall offerings,” said Dana Welch, the coordinator of the event.

Carol Sublett, a vendor and local resident, showcased a wide-ranging display of tote bags, photo magnets and stuffed animals, among others, revealing her years of experience with crafting.

“I like to take pictures and I like to shop for fabric, so this gives me an opportunity to do both and then make back the money,” Sublett said. “I sell everything at cost. I’m not doing it to make money, so I have fun with it. I have been doing this off-and-on — mostly on — for the last 15 to 20 years.”

The earnings from events like the Craft Fair help subsidize various programs at the Davis Senior Center and resources available to all community members.

“The revenue goes to the Senior Center operating budget, which goes toward the programs and services that we offer,” Welch said. “We are able to keep class fees at a reasonable level. We’re able to offer lots of complimentary things. We have a medical lending closet that’s open to anyone of any age. These are the types of resources we can offer to the entire community because of proceeds from revenues from events.”

As a member of the Davis Senior Center, Sublett responded positively to the fact that revenue from the event goes back into the venue and its services.

“I like that, because I’m a senior,” Sublett said. “I belong to the Senior Center and I get the Senior Scene — which is the senior newspaper — and go on [Davis] Travelaires trips.”

The fair, which always happens on the first week of November, helps residents initiate holiday cheer and invest in festive decorations or presents.

“We put [the event] at this time so it’s a festive kick off to the holiday season, ahead of all the holiday rush, so it feels more relaxed,” Welch said. “It’s a much more visibly rich experience when you go to something organically created versus a regular store.”

The Craft Fair featured artists of all backgrounds, expertise and experiences. In addition to Sublett’s table, retired industrial arts teacher Gerry Anderson and middle school student Charlotte Sloane showcased their crafts. Anderson’s hobby of woodworking originated from his time as an educator.

“I taught drafting and CAD [computer-aided design] and woodshop — that’s how I learned to do it,” Anderson said. “Now I do it for myself instead of trying to teach 30 screaming, wild people in my classes. I just support this [craft fair] because I like the small shows.”

Sloane, belonging to a younger generation of crafters, has been participating in the City of Davis’ Holiday Craft Fair for the past three years, displaying angel ornaments handmade out of felt material.

“I saw something similar to this at the Davis Art Center sale a couple years ago and then I was interested,” Sloane said. “I was trying to figure out how to do it and then for Christmas I got a book on how to do them and it’s just gone from there. It’s really therapeutic because this is all you’re thinking about when you’re doing it.”

As for the future, Sloane hopes to start selling her products online and see schools implementing craft programs into their offered courses.

“We have a ceramics class and an art class, but not so much fiber arts classes,” Sloane said. “I would take that class if they included that. I love what I do, it’s really fun.”

Written by: Renee Hoh — city@theaggie.org


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