The best way to avoid all these supply-chain problems you keep hearing about, the ones that supposedly will make it impossible to find the perfect holiday gift, is to skip the supply chain altogether.

This time of year in Maine, a great way to do that is to go to a holiday-season arts and crafts fair. Some are at churches or in schools, others are in large event spaces or focus on fine arts. Depending on where you go, you can find everything from sweaters, jewelry and ceramics to metalwork, furniture and paintings. Not to mention some Maine-made food products and antiques or “attic treasures” thrown in for good measure.

Last year, the pandemic shut down a lot of the holiday craft fairs, but this year many are back in business. Still, COVID cases remain high, and some are requiring masks. It’s best to check the fair’s website or Facebook page for current COVID restrictions. Here are some suggestions of fairs and markets to go to in the next month.

Ceramic mugs by Lisa Ruhman of Yarmouth were among the offerings last year at the Bradbury Mountain Arts Holiday Show and Sale of Fine Arts and Crafts. It’s scheduled this year for Nov. 20-21 in Pownal. Photo courtesy of Bradbury Mountain Arts

THE MAKER’S MARK

Maker’s Market at the Point is the name given to a series of Sunday events at Thompson’s Point, a retail and recreation destination on the Fore River in Portland. The markets are held in Brick South, an old red-brick building from the days when the area was a rail yard. Organizers expect around 100 artists, artisans, farmers and others selling a huge variety of goods, including pottery, jewelry, clothing, art, food and candles. The market is indoors but there’s also a bar, an outdoor beer garden and prepared food for sale. The market events scheduled for this holiday season are Nov. 28, Dec. 5 and Dec. 19, all from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free. Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test are required. For more information, go to Maker’s Market at the Point on Facebook.

ART ON THE HILL

The Society for East End Arts is planning its annual Art on the Hill event Dec. 3-5, at the East End Community School on North Street in Portland. The school sits atop Munjoy Hill, hence the name. Organizers expect some 60 local artists selling handmade gifts, including jewelry, textiles, ceramics, original paintings, glass work, metalsmithing, silk-screened clothing, woodworking and soaps. The event is free, and masks are required. The East End Community School’s PTO will be selling food. The Society for East End Arts promotes awareness of the arts scene in the East End through its annual events, Art on the Hill and the SEA Open Studios Tour in July. For more information, including hours, go to Art on the Hill 2021 on Facebook.

Animal hooks by blacksmith Nick Wicks Moreau, seen last year at the Bradbury Mountain Arts Holiday Show and Sale of Fine Arts and Crafts. It’s scheduled this year for Nov. 20-21 in Pownal. Photo courtesy of Bradbury Mountain Arts

GO TO THE MOUNTAIN

The Bradbury Mountain Arts Holiday Show of Fine Arts and Crafts is back this year and will be held Saturday and Sunday at historic Mallett Hall, in Pownal. You can shop the works of 12 local artists and craftsmen, including metal work, paintings, ceramics, jewelry, clothing and scarves, weaving, photography and prints. Admission is free and shoppers will be asked to wear masks. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. For more information, including photos of work by participating artists, go to Bradbury Mountain Arts on Facebook. 

A HALF-CENTURY OF CRAFTS

The 48th Annual Holiday Craft Fair organized by trustees of the Old Red Church in Standish will be held Nov. 26-27 at Bonny Eagle High School. The event will feature about 170 crafters, spread out over the entire first floor of the high school. People can peruse handmade jewelry, ceramics, stained glass, paintings, ornaments, candles, quilts and specialty foods. Part of the proceeds are given to Bonny Eagle students as scholarships.

Breakfast food and coffee will be sold all morning and several student groups will sell both hot and cold beverages and food, likely to include chowders, chili, sandwiches, hot dogs or pizzas. Admission is free. The Old Red Church, dating to 1804, is a landmark in Standish Village, and houses a museum chronicling its history. For more information on the holiday craft fair, go to oldredchurch.org. 

The Downeast Fair at Woodfords Congregational Church in Portland – seen in pre-pandemic days – is scheduled for Nov. 20. Masks will be required. Photo courtesy of the Woodfords Congregational Church

A PLACE TO CONGREGATE

The Woodfords Congregational Church is hosting its annual Downeast Fair Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the church in Portland. Church fairs have a homey feel and this one has lots of homemade goods, including boxed Christmas cookies, pumpkin pies, cherry jam and knitted goods made by a group of church members. The knitted items include socks, mittens, scarves, hats, shawls, baby bibs and teddy bears.

There will also be used books, “attic treasures,” jewelry and a section of gently used Christmas decorations and related holiday goods. Some wreaths, along with handmade bows, will also be available on the day of the fair. Face coverings will be required for anyone attending and social distancing is encouraged. Admission is free. For more information, go to woodfordschurch.org. 

For info on other holiday crafts fairs and artisan markets around Maine, check out the events listings at mainemade.com.


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