Mak­ing Christ­mas shop­ping spe­cial

DO­ING YOUR CHRIST­MAS SHOP­PING AT CRAFT FAIRS MEANS YOU CAN SUP­PORT LO­CAL ARTISTS CRAFT MAK­ERS AND FOOD PRO­DUC­ERS AS WELL AS HAV­ING AN EN­JOY­ABLE DAY OUT, WRITES

The Argus - - NEWS - MAR­GARET RODDY

THE Christ­mas count­down is well and truly un­der way but there’s no need to fear hav­ing to face the has­sle of last minute shop­ping in crowded shop­ping cen­tres.

In­stead, you can mak­ing shop­ping for gifts and food a plea­sur­able ex­pe­ri­ence by vis­it­ing one of the many craft and food fairs tak­ing place over the com­ing weeks.

Not only can this prove an en­joy­able day out for all the fam­ily, it also sup­ports the lo­cal econ­omy as the money you spend goes to lo­cal craft mak­ers, artists and food pro­duc­ers. You also get the sat­is­fac­tion of buy­ing a unique gift which doesn’t nec­es­sary cost much more than mass pro­duced items.

The first Louth Craft­mark Win­ter Fair takes place this week­end at the beau­ti­ful and his­toric set­ting of Bel­lur­gan Park House, just five miles north of Dun­dalk on the main Car­ling­ford Road.

This prom­ises to be a mag­i­cal venue with a mulled wine re­cep­tion at 6pm on Fri­day and ar­ti­san foods avail­able through­out the week­end.

Ex­hibitors in­clude Dun­dalk-based Cathy Pren­der­gast, in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned as a lead­ing de­signer and maker of high qual­ity leather bags and Car­ling­ford based Gar­ret Mal­lon, an award win­ning maker of hand­made con­tem­po­rary jewellery.

Other ex­hibitors in­clude Cusha of Gul­lion, EDDE Art, Beag Stu­dio vis­ual art, Solise Can­dles, Suzikay, Martina Scott, Mary Cowan, ce­ram­ics, Mary Larkin, Orla Barry vis­ual art, Or­laith Cul­li­nane, vis­ual art, Green Gor­geous, Rachel Tin­nis­wood, Roisin Gre­gory, Sarah McKenna ce­ram­ics, At it Again and Tracy McVerry, vis­ual artist.

Louth Craft­mark De­sign­ers Net­work is a group of fifty mak­ers and vis­ual artists based in and around county, work­ing in ce­ram­ics, print, jewellery, tex­tiles, wood­work, fur­ni­ture, sculp­ture and paint­ing.

The Fair takes place from 1pm to 9pm on Fri­day Novem­ber 17th, and from 10.am to 6.pm on Sat­ur­day and Sun­day.

Free tick­ets can be down­loaded from www. louthcraft­mark.com

Dun­dalk’s Fros­ti­val win­ter fes­ti­val brings a Christ­mas Mar­ket and other fun fam­ily events to the town cen­tre on the week­end of Novem­ber 24th and 25th.

The mar­ket will be lo­cated in a mar­quee in Earl Street with 30 lo­cal craft and ar­ti­san food pro­duc­ers of­fer­ing lots of op­por­tu­ni­ties to buy gifts to share and foodie treats to stock up the pantry for Christ­mas.

Fam­i­lies can sign up for Mrs Claus’ trea­sure hunt for fam­i­lies at the Tourist Of­fice from 12noon on Sat­ur­day, while her hus­band will be in his Grotto to take let­ters from chil­dren over the two days.

The fes­ti­val also fea­tures the Great Dun­dalk Christ­mas Bake Off when ten lo­cal per­son­al­i­ties present their sig­na­ture bakes to the judges in An Táin Arts Cen­tre on the Fri­day af­ter­noon at 4.30pm.

The mem­bers of Dun­dalk’s Bridge Street Stu­dios are open­ing their doors for their an­nual Christ­mas shop­ping week­end at the be­gin­ning of De­cem­ber. This is a great op­por­tu­nity to buy di­rect from the de­sign­ers and mak­ers Caoil­fionn Mur­phy O’Han­lon, Rachel Tin­nis­wood, Fiona Quigley, Orla Barry, Or­laith Cul­li­nane, Mary Cowan and Sarah McKenna.

There will be spe­cial treats for all those who at-

tend, in­clud­ing a fan­tas­tic draw, spe­cial of­fers and dis­counts plus tra­di­tional mulled wine

The Open Doors at Bridge Street Stu­dios and Gate­way Gallery gets un­der­way on Fri­day De­cem­ber 1st, from 2pm to 9pm, and from 12pm to 6pm on Sat­ur­day and Sun­day, De­cem­ber 2nd and 3rd. The Stu­dios, Gallery and Shop will be open each Fri­day and Sat­ur­day in De­cem­ber from 12pm to 6pm.

It’s al­ways a de­light to visit Car­ling­ford in the win­ter time, when the vil­lage’s old streets take on a spe­cial at­mos­phere. The Car­ling­ford Christ­mas Craft Fair takes place in St Michael’s Hall on the first week­end in De­cem­ber, fea­ture a se­lec­tion of crafts and food from lo­cal pro­duc­ers as well as from neigh­bour­ing coun­ties. Ex­hibitors in­clude Shell’s Drift­wood, Anne’s Lux­ury Ir­ish Hand Knits and Cro­chet, Teresa Woods, baby knitwear and knit­ted toys, Colleen Long, Fairy Jars, cards and gift­ware, Marie Egan De­coupage, Round­wood Melts, Joanne Haf­fey, Rain­bow Peb­bles,Fiona’s Ther­a­pies, Seta McEvoy, Christ­mas Cre­ations by Seet­petite, hand painted ce­ram­ics and gift­ware, Mur­ray­maker, wall hang­ings, ear­rings, cush­ion cov­ers etc, Mark English, wood­turner, Carol Scott, Poly­mer Clay dec­o­ra­tions and jewellery, Grainne Har­nett, origami, Ciara Dur­ri­gan, re­cy­cled pa­per dec­o­ra­tions, Briege Brady, Papil­lon Pot­tery and artist Rose­marie McAr­dle.

There will be a mulled wine re­cep­tion on the evening of Fri­day De­cem­ber 1st, while Santa will pay a visit on the Sun­day.

For a great day out for all the fam­ily, go along to Ghan House where this award win­ning venue is host­ing their an­nual Christ­mas Fair on Sun­day De­cem­ber 10th.

This free event is a cel­e­bra­tion of ev­ery­thing that the lo­cal area has to of­fer at Christ­mas­time, with the chance to pur­chase Christ­mas gifts and as well as Ghan House’s own home­made jams, chut­neys, breads and gift vouch­ers. Ex­hibitors in­clude Pearl Beauty Salon, Heav­enly Cakes, The Hand­made Soap Com­pany, Petals’ Flow­ers and Gifts, Oghamoils, artists Pa­tri­cia McA­teer and Maura Muck­ian, Neary Nogs Choco­lates, Dezign­worx, The Pretty Plaque Shop, artist Tracy Fry, Sarah and Mart’s Art and Tori Knits.

There will also be wine-tast­ing with Owen from Wines Di­rect in the cosy bar area along with Des from the Car­ling­ford Brew­ing Com­pany of­fer­ing in­for­ma­tion on his lo­cally brewed ales.

There are cup­cake and gin­ger­bread dec­o­rat­ing classes for chil­dren. The class costs €10 per child and they will have a cup­cake and a gin­ger­bread man to take home with them. Suit­able for chil­dren of all ages. These are very pop­u­lar so book­ing is ad­vis­able at 042 937 3682.

BUY­ING FROM LO­CAL MAK­ERS, ARTISTS, AND FOOD PRO­DUC­ERS KEEPS MONEY IN THE LO­CAL ECON­OMY AND HELPS KEEP OUR COM­MU­NI­TIES ALIVE

Lo­cal craft beer just one of the prod­ucts you will find at the fes­tive trade fairs.

Paula Sta­ple­ton (left), Rachel Tin­nis­wood, Gar­rett Mal­lon, Mary Cowan, Gillian Cal­lan, Roisin Gre­gory, Fiona Quigley, Kath­leen Mul­hol­land, Sarah McKenna, Caoil­fionn Mur­phy-O’Han­lon and Karen Lavelle at the of­fi­cial launch of the Louth Craft Mark Win­ter Fair which takes places at Bel­lur­gan Park, Novem­ber 17th-19th 2017.

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