Craft fairs kick off holidays |

Craft fairs kick off holidays

Melinda Dudley

Oak Creek resident Carmen Strait checks out a purse with Steamboat Springs resident Janice Johner on Saturday at the Work of Human Hands Holiday Craft Bazaar held at Holy Name Catholic Church.

— The holiday season rapidly is descending on Steamboat Springs, as downtown’s trademark pine garlands went up over Lincoln Avenue on Saturday. But with Thanksgiving only days away and just more than a month until Christmas, not everyone is ready for the purported most wonderful time of the year.

Franni Jenkins said while she is ready to kick off the holidays with a tryptophan-induced haze at Routt County United Way’s annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday, she’s still wondering where the rest of the year went.

“I was making plans to see someone in a week, and I looked at the calendar and went – that’s December!” Jenkins said Saturday, manning the cash drawer at Holy Name Catholic Church’s 11th annual Work of Human Hands Holiday Craft Bazaar.

Some of the Yampa Valley’s earliest – and socially conscious – holiday shoppers perused fair trade arts and crafts from 29 developing countries Saturday. Proceeds will go to artisans in the developing world through SERRV International, the organization that provides the crafts.

Products that were highlighted include Chilean jewelry, constructed out of recycled-paper beads; Haitian metal sculptures; handmade handbags and Christmas tree ornaments; and colorful woven dog leashes from Guatemala. Children eagerly tried out the rain sticks and other world music instruments.

On the edible side of holiday shopping, selections included peach-ginger jam from Swaziland and organic fair trade coffee sold to benefit Holy Name’s 2009 youth mission trip.

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“I think the stuff is great – but then again, I’ve got a big social justice heart,” Jenkins said with a smile.

Jenkins could not resist getting a head start on her holiday shopping Saturday, hours before her volunteer shift began.

“I came by this morning – dropped off my stuff for the bake sale, did my shopping, did my damage to my pocketbook,” she said.

While Jenkins said the stress that comes this time of year sometimes can make her “kind of a grinch,” her favorite part of the holidays is spending time with her friends and family.

Meghan Rabbitt said she also is ready for lots her extended family to come to Steamboat during the holidays.

“It’s my brother’s first year in college, and he’s coming home for Christmas,” Rabbitt said. “Me and my brothers and my sister, we all decorate the Christmas tree with my mom. Then, my mom and I bake a lot.”

Baking gives way to another favorite holiday activity – eating – and Rabbitt knew immediately which seasonal sweet she is most excited to sample.

“Fudge,” Rabbitt said. “It’s my mom’s specialty.”

Holiday events

– Today

Holy Name Catholic Church hosts its 11th annual Work of Human Hands Holiday Crafts Bazaar from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., with handmade gifts and products from 29 countries, at 524 Oak St.

Pet pictures with Santa Claus are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Howelsen Hill Lodge. Proceeds will benefit the Routt County Humane Society. Children and adults can get in the picture, too. Larry the Camel will be there for part of the day.

Yampa Valley Bank and Ace at the Curve present the 14th annual Festival of Trees at the Tread of Pioneers Museum, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Monday at Eighth and Oak streets. Twenty trees decorated by local businesses are on display. There is no cost to Routt County residents with ID; out-of-town visitors pay regular museum admission.

Veterans of Foreign Wars, Women’s Auxiliary and the American Legion host their annual Turkey Bingo event from noon to 2 p.m. and 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at VFW Post 4262, 924 Lincoln Ave. The public is invited.

– Thanksgiving Day

Routt County United Way’s annual community Thanksgiving Dinner is from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Steamboat Springs Community Center. Food donations of all kinds, including turkeys, are needed. To donate, call Routt County United Way at 879-5605 or Lynn Bear and Wells Fargo at 870-2021.

– Friday

The Community Tree Lighting is from 6 to 7 p.m. on the Routt County Courthouse Lawn. Children can visit with Santa Claus, and all can enjoy hot cocoa and cookies from local restaurants, sing along with the Emerald City Opera Jewel Singers and register to win Downtown Dollars. A portion of Lincoln Avenue through downtown Steamboat will be closed for the event.

– Saturday

The Steamboat Clay Artisans’ annual Holiday Pottery Sale is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 30, at the Depot Art Center, 1001 13th St. There will be free refreshments, music and a special table of $5-or-less gift items for children to purchase.

The Moonhill Schoolhouse and Community Center Board hosts its annual Holiday Bazaar from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the schoolhouse, on Routt County Road 129 south of Clark. The event includes wares from numerous local artisans.

Hayden’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony is at 6:30 p.m. at 725 W. Jefferson Ave. There will be hot cocoa and cookies, caroling and a candlelight ceremony. All are welcome.

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