The first Sparkle Village Craft Fair I attended was a small affair in the upstairs lobby of an old Saranac Lake hotel back in the early 90’s. I was producing and selling fleece headwear at the time and took in a modest amount over the two days. The craft fair was in its early days and attendance was good, but not stellar by any means. A group of about a dozen vendors comprised the event at the time. I had fun and the other vendors were great and had some cool, creative products. The 'buzz' was very positive however!
Fast-forward to 2013. In its 26th year, Sparkle Village Craft Fair is one of the premier shows in the North Country. Fifty nine vendors in two locations and a waiting list of over a dozen more. This year for the first time, more vendors will also be located at the Adirondack Carousel. Organizers say a third location in the middle of downtown Saranac Lake is in the works for future years as well. The event this year falls on Friday and Saturday, December 6th and 7th.
In more recent years I participated as a vendor selling candy. The camaraderie between vendors was amazing. And many of the attendees were loyal repeat customers for some of the vendors as well. That show was like no other craft event I’d participated in. I sold out of product 3/4 of the way through the second day. I had stocked a very large inventory that I assumed I’d be partially bringing home with me. I was blown away by the attendance numbers! Needless to say it was a very, very positive experience, both business-wise and socially. The next year I was overly prepared and didn't run out!
“It’s a wonderful place to find quality, locally-made products by a host of talented individuals”, said Katy VanAnden, Executive Director of the Saranac Lake Chamber of Commerce. Open Friday from 4 pm - 8 pm, and Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm, with an admission fee of $2, last year’s show posted an attendance of nearly 1,000.
Vendor Cindy Lamay has been selling her handcrafted pine and cone crafts since the very first show in the late ’80’s and loves this event. She describes why it’s such a special event, “This is our last show of the holiday season and has grown to be one the best for us. But more importantly, we look forward to the 'small town, homey' atmosphere and seeing so many of our local friends and customers that come every year”,
The variety of craft items runs the gambit from locally produced maple syrup to photographs, art and jewelry and everything in between. The vendors love the show because it’s the last show of the season for them and also one of the busiest. The public loves the show because there is such variety and numbers of crafters. It’s a win/win for all!
“The response of vendors looking to join Sparkle Village continues to amaze me”, says VanAnden. “Adding a second festive location to this year’s event allows us to actually be Sparkle “Village.” We welcome all visitors and locals to enjoy the talents of our vendors.”
Make a weekend of it and reserve a room in Saranac Lake to take in all the holiday festivities around the region in addtion to the crafts fair. See you there!