Anyone can go to the mall and have a holiday picture taken with Santa, but how many get a chance to have their seasonal photo snapped with a Yeti?

The ape-like Yeti made his debut at last year’s PICNIC Holiday Sale, a juried indie craft fair, and he returns this year for an encore.

“The Yeti photos ended up being one of the most popular things last year,” said Sean Wilkinson, a Portland-based graphic designer and one of the members of the collaborative that hosts the twice-annual PICNIC sales.

This year’s holiday fair takes place Saturday and Sunday at the Irish Heritage Center in Portland, and features 65 artisan vendors.

The PICNIC phenomenon began in 2008 as a summer fair in Lincoln Park and last year branched into the holiday scene. It follows a national trend of non-traditional craft fairs that showcase funkier items than what can be found at church fundraisers.

With a thriving community of artisans and creative types, Portland provides fertile ground to host such a sale.


“Most of the vendors are from the Portland area,” Wilkinson said. “The impetus to start PICNIC was to celebrate the creative scene in Portland.”

The tough part comes in determining which vendors to let into the sale. Almost 200 vendors applied to take part in the winter sale, but the organizers had spots for only a fraction of the applicants.

“We brought in some guest jurors this year to help us wean it down to a manageable number,” Wilkinson said.

This year’s holiday PICNIC will feature the event’s signature edgy mix of clothing, jewelry, prints, accessories, handbags, stationery, housewares, fine art and vintage goods.

In addition to alternative holiday gifts, the event features a mix of DJs and live music, including performances by Theodore Treehouse, Jeff Beam, Computer at Sea, Milkman’s Union and In the Audience.

Those who need a little nourishment to facilitate the holiday shopping process can make a pit stop at the Skinny Cart BBQ table and purchase the street vendor’s sought-after pork sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, vegetarian sandwiches, hot chocolate and other beverages.


“We’ve kind of built up a good reputation of being a well-curated show of alternatives to the regular gifts you can buy for the holiday,” Wilkinson said. “Our brand is cool music and great vendors.”

And, of course, Yeti photos.

Staff Writer Avery Yale Kamila can be contacted at 791-6297 or at:

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