CHRIST­MAS CRAFTS

The Catoosa County News - - FRONT PAGE - By Ta­mara Wolk

The Christ­mas in North Ge­or­gia Craft Show at the Colon­nade in Ring­gold on Nov. 17 was a feast for the senses. Crafts­man­ship at its best was on display as were twin­kling lights and sa­vory hol­i­day scents, from cin­na­mon and flow­ery wax melts to a mix of smells from home­made foods like cheese straws and pas­tries.

Last year, Mar­garet and Lee Par­rish took over the an­nual craft show that was once a Colon­nade func­tion. More than 3,000 peo­ple walked through the doors to browse and shop the 42 booths this year.

“We had nearly dou­ble the num­ber of ven­dors this year over last,” says Mar­garet Par­rish.

The Par­rishes are crafters them­selves.

They cre­ate iron yard art and cus­tom iron work for gates, fences, chairs, head­boards, ta­bles, shelv­ing, grills and more, as well as hand­made can­dles and wax melts.

“We travel to a lot of craft shows,” says Mar­garet Par­rish. “It’s hard to find a ma­jor lo­cal show, which is why we de­cided to do this. Our show is de­voted to hand­crafted items only and we’re happy it’s al­ready at­tract­ing some unique ven­dors.”

Par­rish says they ad­ver­tised this year’s show by way of so­cial me­dia, fly­ers and two bill­boards. “Next year, we’re plan­ning four or five bill­boards and more ways of reach­ing peo­ple. Some of this year’s ven­dors have al­ready signed up to come back next year.”

Ven­dors at this year’s craft show came from the im­me­di­ate area and from places more dis­tant, like Re­saca and Dal­las.

Some handed out busi­ness cards with Face­book and web­sites and oth­ers had only email ad­dresses or phone num­bers. There were pro­fes­sion­ally printed busi­ness cards and ones cut out by hand, tech­savvy and old-school crafters.

One thing all the ven­dors had in com­mon was a hard­work­ing com­mit­ment to pro­duc­ing unique and quality prod­ucts. There were bas­kets and or­na­ments in­tri­cately wo­ven from pine nee­dles, pot­tery made of clay its cre­ators dug them­selves, signs and out­door dé­cor made from hard­wood found on a crafter’s own prop­erty, beau­ti­fully carved wood han­dles on ice cream scoops, pizza cut­ters and shav­ing brushes, art, jew­elry, sta­tionery, tex­tile arts and much more.

“We’re ex­cited about next year,” says Par­rish. “We were able to book the Colon­nade for De­cem­ber 7. It will be our third year. We should have even more ven­dors and more peo­ple at­tend­ing.”

To learn more about Christ­mas in North Ge­or­gia, visit them on Face­book at face­book. com/christ­masin­north­ge­or­giacraft­show or call 423-309-1871.

Forty-two ven­dors set up this year at the Christ­mas in North Ge­or­gia Craft Show at the Colon­nade.

/ Con­trib­uted

Two bill­boards ad­ver­tised the Christ­mas in North Ge­or­gia Craft Show at the Colon­nade in Ring­gold this year, but or­ga­niz­ers plan four to five next year.

/ Ta­mara Wolk

Among the many items at the show were crafts made from wood har­vested from crafters’ own prop­erty.

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