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‘Thousands of items’: LACA Holiday Craft Show marks 10th year

November 22, 2018

Twenty artists and crafters from around the state will display their creations Saturday at the 10th annual Holiday Craft Show at the Ludington Area Center for the Arts, 107 S. Harrison St.

The show will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with artists from Grand Haven, Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, Manistee, Saginaw and beyond descending on Ludington to participate in the event.

They’ll bring hand-etched glassware, watercolor art, cloth dolls, jewelry, soy candles, purses, wildlife art, soap, books, home-baked treats and more.

Craft show organizer and LACA volunteer Marion Reidl said the show strives to offer an opportunity for visitors to buy unique, homemade items from a wide selection of Michigan artists working in a variety of mediums.

About half of the participating artists are returning to the show, and the other half consists of newcomers, according to Reidl.

She said the artists will come with fully stocked booths, offering something for everyone.

“I would think with the 20 artists, there will be thousands of items (available at the show),” Reidl said.

The event coincides with downtown Ludington’s Small Business Saturday, as well as the annual holiday activities planned for the upcoming weekend, which include the Aglow on the Avenue holiday parade and the lighting of the downtown Ludington Christmas tree.

Reidl said it was no accident that the two overlap.

“We deliberately chose this weekend because all of these artists and crafters are small businesses,” she said. “So we’re hoping the community comes out to support not only the downtown businesses, but the 20 small businesses that are involved in the show… It’s one of the main reasons we chose this date.”

Reidl said the fact that Ludington did not have an art fair set for the weekend after Thanksgiving prior to the first LACA art show in 2008 also factored into the arts center’s decision to align with Ludington’s holiday festivities.

“We just thought it was a great fit,” Reidl said. “And I think we’ve grown.”

As many as 600 customers have shown up to craft shows in the past, and attendance tends to be higher when the weather is better.

Organizers take authenticity seriously. Each year, submissions from vendors are examined to make sure certain quality standards are met — specifically that every item is hand-crafted and homemade.

“It’s not a juried show, but we do have a selection committee. And that is to make sure all the items are hand-crafted — so they’re unique. They’re not something you can find in your big box stores or online,” Reidl said. “We also do that to make sure we don’t have a lot of duplication.”

The event has changed as each year LACA seeks feedback and suggestions from vendors regarding how to improve the arts and craft show.

“We always look at (forms) that the crafters fill out, and we take their suggestions. A lot of the things we try to do with improvements come from what’s suggested by the crafters in their evaluation forms,” Reidl said.

See The Scene in Wednesday’s Ludington Daily News print and e-Editions for the full story.

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