If you’re going
• What: Christmas in Central Park
• When: 2 to 9 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday
• Where: Central Park, 2300 Keith Bridge Road
• Online: www.christmasatcentralpark.com
The Christmas in Central Park festival will bring arts and crafts vendors, food, entertainment and Santa and Mrs. Claus to the park for the sixth year.
And this year’s event, organized by the Sawnee Artists’ Association, has expanded to two days, Friday and Saturday.
Paula Chambers, event chair for the association, said everything will be held inside the Central Park Recreation Center, including its new addition.
The event, always held the weekend before Thanksgiving, has become a tradition for many Christmas shoppers, Chambers said.
“We have people that come with their shopping bags and look for particular vendors,” she said. “About 50 percent of our vendors have been with us from the beginning.”
Some new vendors include a barbed wire artist and a Southeastern river cane flute artist, who will be performing throughout the weekend.
Quilts, woodwork, jewelry, holiday decorations and many other “nice fine crafts to fine arts” will be featured during the festival, Chambers said.
“You name it, it’s going to be there,” she said.
The association will also be selling “Art in a Bag” for the second year as a fundraiser for its scholarship program.
For $15 for one bag or $25 for two, patrons get a handmade bag with small paintings, pottery pieces and other items valued anywhere from $15 to $70, Chambers said.
The contents of the bag, however, are a surprise until purchased, she said, adding that the fundraiser was a big success last year.
Several entertainers will also perform at the event, which has free admission. Dance troupes, bands, singing groups and a magician, among others, will provide entertainment throughout the two-day festival.
As usual, guests can get photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus all day on both days.
The event has grown over the years, Chambers said, drawing more than 10,000 visitors last year.
“We anticipate 12,000 to 15,000 this year,” she said. “Everybody can bring their shopping bags and scratch off everything on their Christmas lists.”