Holiday Art and Craft Show at Western Carolina University

Holiday Art & Craft Show Celebrates 25 Years this Nov. 23-24
CULLOWHEE, N.C. – The “Hard Candy Christmas” Fine Art and Craft Show reaches the quarter-century milestone this Nov. 23-24.

For the 25th year in a row, the show will present a selection of the best arts and crafts in the southern Appalachians.

Always held Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving, the show has grown from a tiny gathering of eight artists in a community building in Franklin to an assembly of more than 110 artists in the Ramsey Center arena at Western Carolina University.

“What started as a little bitty show where we stuck a sign on the road and put two ads in the paper has morphed into something very big,” says show coordinator Doris Hunter. “We had eight artists the first year. The next year we had 18 and were off and running. People started bringing their Thanksgiving guests to the show and it has rolled along just like a snowball.”

Hunter now travels to shows throughout the mountains to identify crafters for her Hard Candy Christmas show, which gets its name from a simpler era when folks enjoyed the season with stockings of hard candy and other gift basket items made by hand.

“I try to visit every event within 100 miles and look at people’s work and talk to them,” Hunter says. “This allows us to collect under one room the brightest and best from dozens of shows. All of our crafts are authentic, hand-made works.”

The two-day event features a variety of items from basket weavers, potters, wood carvers, quilters, furniture makers, blacksmiths, glass blowers, doll makers and more.

Holiday items available include candles, ornaments, trees, wreaths, and peanut brittle.

This year’s featured artist is Debra Parker Romero of Buford, Ga. A sculptor and owner of Old World St. Nicks, Romero specializes in creating original handmade Santas, elves, and other figures and ornaments. Her work is currently on display at the Biltmore House.

Show hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Admission is $4 per person, with children under age 12 admitted free. Parking is also free.

For show info, call Doris Hunter at (828) 524-3405, or visit: www.MountainArtisans.net.

For info on dining and lodging, call the Jackson County Visitors Center at (800) 962-1911.