CLIFTON — After five years of crafts in Clifton, a local Christmas festival will be making a few changes this year.
The festival formally known has Winterfest, will now be known as the 12 Days of Christmas Craft Show. The show will offer quality, handmade items by artisans from 11 different counties. Each crafter has been chosen to offer the public unique gift items. This year, the variety of gift items include handmade baskets, lathe turned wood products, salsas, jams, candies, mosaics, sock monkeys, felted mittens, fleece stuffed animals, handcrafted brooms, jewelry, soaps, as well as items made from alpaca fleece.
Winterfest used to be held every day from Thanksgiving to Christmas, but the event planners decided to shorten the event. The show will take place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Dec. 11 to Dec. 22. The show won’t open until noon on Sundays. The event has also made a few venue changes. The event will be held at the Clifton United Presbyterian Church.
“As it is being held in the church and it is the Christmas season, it seemed only appropriate to choose the name of 12 Days of Christmas and to be open 12 days of December each year. This will allow the people who work the show to actually have some time in December to maybe put a Christmas tree of their own,” said Margaret Neff, event organizer.
Besides a woodcrafter from Delaware, Ohio, a basket-maker from Fairborn, a mosaic center, a local woman who makes stuffed Santas and snowmen, and a crafter who makes nature-inspired purses, other things will be offered at the show.
Wyatt McCubbin will perform on Dec. 14, and a live Nativity will be held from 4-7 p.m. on Dec. 20. A free gospel concert on Dec. 21 by Barbara Holland from Tennessee will round out the show’s events. The gospel concert is free, but the McCubbin concert will cost $6 at the door, $5 pre-sale.
Rue Farms will offer complete meals and short order meals every day including their signature roast beef sundaes, which consists of homegrown beef served on top of mashed potatoes with gravy, served in a sundae dish topped with a cherry tomato.
There still are openings for a few vendors. Vendors set their booth up and never have to work the show. There is a common register and all purchases go through that register.
“This show is the easiest show any vendor can do. They set up Dec. 9 and tear down Dec 23. Although they are always welcome, they do not have to work any of the show. Each vendor is given a number and each price tag is marked with a price and that vendor number. At the end of the show, monies are sent for each item sold,” said Neff.
So while the length of the show is shorter, the organizers hope that the event will still be a success with the addition of the concerts, food and, as always, the artisans.
“It is a quality artisan craft show, free to the public. We encourage people to come to Clifton to shop the show, grab a bite to eat, and then enjoy the lights at the Mill. It’s a perfect trip to Clifton at Christmas,” said Neff.
For more 20 years, Clifton Mill has celebrated the Christmas season with its Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill. More than 3.5 million lights illuminate the mill, the gorge, the riverbanks, trees and bridges. There is even a 100-foot “waterfall” of twinkling lights.
There is also a Miniature Village, a Santa Claus Museum and a spectacular synchronized lights and music show that features the old Covered Bridge. Every night until the night before Christmas Eve patrons can peek into Santa’s Workshop to see a live Santa at work and then, every 15 minutes or so, watch him check his list and go up the chimney to load his sleigh.
Clifton’s 12 Days of Christmas beings Dec. 11. The church is located at 183 N. Jackson St. in Clifton. Any vendors interested in the event can email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information call 937-767-2343.