Here’s the thing: there may be those of us who plan our holiday shopping far ahead of time, stashing exactly the right gifts away months in advance, never worrying about if something is in stock or if the gift is exactly right.
If you aren’t one of those twenty people, below we’ve compiled a list of holiday shopping opportunities, most of which are platforms for local artists and craftspeople to sell unique items made with love and care. So don’t say to yourself it’s last-minute shopping—instead contemplate how if you didn’t wait until mid- to late-December, you might not have been able to find exactly the right thing made locally. Really, this was your plan all along.
CIRI Annual Holiday Craft Bazaar
This annual bazaar at the Fireweed Business Center features more than sixty Alaska and Indian Native artists selling a range of items including hand-woven baskets, mukluks, kuspuks, ivory carvings, beadwork, and jewelry. There’s also a silent auction to benefit Cook Inlet Tribal Council’s Gift Basket program, which provides gift cards to low-income families to purchase holiday presents for their children and hosts a holiday celebration.
Wonderfully Made Christmas Bazaar
The Wonderfully Made Christmas Bazaar takes place at Cornerstone Church in Anchorage. This bazaar annually celebrates the unique nature of the local Alaskan artist community and features more than 100 vendors showcasing handmade craft items. In addition to shopping, guests can enjoy food at the concession stand, gourmet coffee, and live music. Admission and parking are free.
Doyon Holiday Bazaar
Held at Doyon Plaza, the annual Doyon Holiday Bazaar features local arts, crafts, and other goods.
Handmade Holiday Art Bazaar
The Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center presents the Handmade Holiday Art Bazaar, which features only high quality, handmade work from Alaskan artists whose work relates to Alaska’s land, people, and history. Artists are required to submit an application and photos representative of their work to ensure they meet the criteria.
Holiday Bazaar at Trax Outdoor Center
Get ready for Christmas at the TRAX Holiday Bazaar: multiple vendors, art, storewide sales, hot coffee, cocoa, and Christmas cookies make holiday shopping a festive experience.
The North Pole Winterfest Bazaar
The North Pole Winterfest Bazaar is presented by the North Pole Community Chamber of Commerce and boasts fireworks in the parking lot of the North Pole Plaza Mall at 5 p.m.
Tanana Valley Farmer’s Market Holiday Bazaar
There’s free admission to the Farmer’s Market Holiday Bazaar, which is an all Alaska Grown, Alaskan handmade marketplace at the Carlson Center.
Lily & Mae Winter Market
The Lily & Mae Winter Market is focused on fun. “We want you to feel like it’s holiday nostalgia in a cup!” The open-air market at the Carlson Center hosts more than fifty booths selling handcrafted and hand curated items such as jewelry, home décor, fashion, and other unique goods.
Naughty & Ice Annual Handcrafted Market
The Naughty & Ice Annual Handcrafted Market takes place at West Valley High School and is hosted by Alaska’s Angels Farm, which creates natural and organic soaps, cosmetics, farm fresh eggs, Alaska raw honey, and more.
Homer Nutcracker Faire
Homer locals can get out and check out the wares at the annual Nutcracker Fair, which showcases the Kenai Peninsula’s finest arts and crafts. Shoppers can enjoy live music and local food while browsing the work of more than 100 artisans at Homer High School.
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In This Issue
The Marx Bros. Café
Jack Amon and Richard “Van” Hale opened the doors of the Marx Bros. Café on October 18, 1979; however, the two had already been partners in cuisine for some time, having created the Wednesday Night Gourmet Wine Tasting Society and Volleyball Team Which Now Meets on Sunday, a weekly evening of food and wine. It was actually the end of the weekly event that spurred the name of the restaurant: hours after its final service, Amon and Hale were hauling equipment and furnishings out of their old location and to their now-iconic building on Third Street, all while managing arguments about equipment ownership, a visit from the police, and quite a bit of wine. “If you’ve ever seen the movie ‘A Night at the Opera” starring the Marx Brothers, that’s what it was like,” Hale explains.