The holidays are rapidly approaching, and a local arts group is getting a jump on the season.
From 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Sawnee Association of the Arts will host the 14th Annual Christmas Arts and Crafts Festival at Lanier Technical College. Kris Straukas, co-chair of the event, said there will be more than 100 vendors selling a variety of items during the festival.
“It’s a great, eclectic mix of different arts and crafts,” Straukas said. “[Vendors will have] everything from metal sculpture to, of course, your jewelry and pottery … to fine art; everything is required to be 100-percent hand-crafted.”
Paintings, drawings, photography, glasswork and more will also be on sale.
The event will also offer visitors an early chance to get a picture with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
“For a $5 donation, they can line up and have their visit with Santa and take pictures with their own cameras,” Straukas said.
Along with Santa, there will be another chance for Christmas pictures with a hand-built sleigh.
“We have a huge sleigh that we had one of our members build that we put out in front of the front doors,” Straukas said. “That’s another photo opportunity because the families can climb inside.”
For the third year, the Elf Corner will return for kids to find gifts for their parents. Straukas said the Elf Corner has become “a local favorite.”
“That is a special shop just for kids; parents aren’t allowed in,” she said. “It’s kind of like a secret Santa-type shop. The kids can go in and all our vendors that are participating in the festival have another avenue to sell products priced $5 and under.”
Only cash and checks are accepted at the Elf Corner, and some elves will be available to help kids pick out the gifts, which will be wrapped on-site.
A handful of non-profit organizations will also have booths at the festival. Food trucks and other vendors will also be on hand.
Straukas said the Christmas festival brought in 10,000 visitors last year, and the group hopes even more will attend.
Lanier Tech is at 3410 Ronald Reagan Boulevard. More information can be found at SawneeArt.org.