It is a tale of two craft fairs, and a true holiday tale of joining forces together, and with a moral that would make Jimmy Stewart's heart swell two times its size, Central Oregon Locavore and The Old Ironworks are joining forces to promote their same-day local, holiday craft and food events. The two events could have easily been a competitive enterprise, sending Bendites across town, possibly splitting business for the events down the middle. Instead, the two venues are teaming up and combining two separate craft fairs stocked to the gills with the best and brightest of Bend's artisanal craft community.
Central Oregon Locavore's founder Nikki Timm is one of the masterminds behind the event, running the Locavore Holiday Gift Faire from the Old Stone Church. "We are so committed to hosting the Gift Faire," Timm says, "because it gives our community a chance to make their holidays local by directly supporting the artisans who are a part of our gift faire. This supports not only our local economy, but also those artisans who live and work in our community, our friends, our neighbors and fellow Central Oregonians."
In collaboration with the Old Ironworks and Stuart's of Bend, they are cross-promoting the separate gift fairs by hiring the Bend Tour Company to shuttle shoppers between the events. At Locavore's Holiday Gift Faire alone there will be over 35 vendors with local drinks and Bethlyn's Global Fusion food cart.
Over in the Old Ironworks Art District (home of Tambi Lane Photography, Stuart's of Bend, The Sparrow Bakery, Last Saturday art walk and much more) there will be many more vendor options, as well as brew from Silver Moon and carolers from Mountain View High School.
Event manager Patty Dougherty gave me a preview of the Ironworks Craft-O event. "We will have over 45 vendors joining us this year like Taylor Rose (illustrations in pen, ink and watercolor), Cynthia the artist of Spoke Words (bracelets out of bicycle spokes), Nomad Leather, Ceramic Monsters by James DeRosso, handmade soap by Leslie Colvin, jewelry by Emily Gibbons, Southwest Salsa Co., recycled and up-cycled goods, clothing and fiber arts and lots more to explore."
Dougherty moved to Bend two years ago and the first event she attended here was Craft-O. "I ended up spending four hours at the event," she tells me, "buying presents, meeting local folks and making connections with wonderful people. Personally, I have a love for artisans. They put their heart and soul into every piece of handmade work they create and I support them completely. The reason I got involved this year was simply to support them in another way and get involved with the community." With Donner Flower Shop decorating the Holiday Lodge, Pro Tree Care donating a Christmas Tree and tons of other community involvement, the volunteers are really going full steam into making this the most exciting Craft-O yet.
The dedicated work from everyone at Locavore and The Ironworks creates a sense of shared accomplishment and love for art that comes from local hands and souls. It is also a good way to remind Bend that shopping locally is not just a nifty idea, but a way to keep local businesses alive and thriving. Dougherty puts it best: "This event is creative, it's inspirational, it's everything that Walmart isn't."
Who can argue with that?
Craft-O & The Locavore Gift Faire
The Old Ironworks and The Old Stone Church
10 am to 5 pm Sat., Dec. 13 and Sun., Dec. 14
50 SE Scott St. (Ironworks) and
157 NW Franklin (Old Stone Church)