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Christmas in Central Park next weekend
Family-fun event offers crafts, gifts
Central Park Xmas 5 es
Connie Shriver holds one of the pieces of artwork that will be available. - photo by Emily Saunders
At a glance

The fifth annual Christmas in Central Park is set for 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Nov. 21 and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 22 at Central Park, 2300 Keith Bridge Road. Admission is free. Contact: (678) 455-8540 or
With more vendors and longer hours, organizers are hoping the fifth annual Christmas in Central Park will be the biggest yet.

“It’s gotten to be so popular that we’ve expanded the hours to give people more shopping time,” said Paula Chambers, program coordinator for Forsyth County Parks and Recreation.

“I think the reputation of the show is really getting out.”

About 115 vendors will be set up in Central Park, offering food and an array of crafts, including stained glass, candles, jewelry and pottery.

The event, which runs Nov. 21 and 22, will feature continuous entertainment from local musicians.

The Sugar Plum Café will offer fair fare, including funnel cakes, boiled peanuts and kettle corn.

Chambers said there will also be train rides, photos with Santa Claus, hands-on artwork and other fun activities for children.

“The children love making their own candles at BK Sensations,” she said.

Event co-chair Kathy Wert said the festival is a great way to offer a variety of artwork to the community. And judging by previous turnouts, it’s working.

“The first year we knew it was successful when we had about 2,500 people come through. But it was a one-day event then,” she said. “Today, we think we’ll have 10,000.

“It’s the first event of the holiday season which people are really excited about. I think it’s a great event because there are a lot of things for sale in a lower price range that people can afford to get something really unique for their friends and family for Christmas.”

For the first time, the event will feature “Art in a Bag,” sponsored by the Cumming-Forsyth Arts Council.

“Local artists from Sawnee Artists Association and council have donated beautiful paintings and pottery and glassware that are hidden inside of the bags,” Chambers said. “People can get one for $15 or two for $25.”

The catch, Wert said, is “you purchase the artwork sight unseen.”

“We have a little bit of everything. We have some paintings, some glasswork, some woodwork,” she said. “The artwork is beautiful and we have made these beautiful little bags to put them in ... a lot of these artworks would go for over $100 if they were sold by the individual.”

Both women contributed a few of their own pieces for the secret bags. Money raised from the project will go to the council, which helps promote arts in the county.

The event helps local artists, but it’s also a fun way for a family to spend the day together, Chambers said.

“It is a fun-filled family outing with great food and great entertainment,” she said. “You can come and do nothing but enjoy the entertainment and eat a funnel cake, or you can come and do all of your Christmas shopping.”