Naomi Richardson holds a banner for the seventh annual Holiday Craftacular inside her retail store, The Glitter Workshop on 6138 Mineral Point Road in Madison.

Saturday, Dec. 3, marks the anniversary of the Seventh Annual Holiday Craftacular craft show, a free holiday craft show featuring handmade items from over fifty artists and crafters.

Occupying both upper and lower levels of The East Side Club at 3735 Monona Drive in Madison, the Holiday Craftacular runs from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., with goodie bags available to the first fifty attendees.

Event creator Naomi Richardson moved the Holiday Craftacular to The East Side Club in 2009 when it outgrew the High Noon Saloon.

“Before I started this show I did consignment and wholesale myself and I thought ‘there’s nothing like this in Madison,’ so I started it,” Richardson said. “There are a lot of craft shows and a lot of art shows but nothing a little funkier, a little more fun and alternative.”

“We estimate the last show had about 4,500 people. Volunteers help us out and we have goodie bags for the first fifty people. People line up about an hour and a half ahead of time for the goodie bags that are full of donations from the vendors and local businesses. Every year the event grows and grows. We see people drive in from as far away as Appleton and the Fox Valley,” Richardson said.

Richardson intentionally differentiates her Holiday Craftacular from traditional craft shows.

“At the [Holiday Craftacular] event, you’ll see a lot of different items that you wouldn’t see at a traditional craft show,” Richardson explained. “There’s a younger feeling to this show. A lot of people also sell their items online, but you’ll see a larger variety of the items at the show than you would on their ETSY store or website.”

Currently closed for 2011 vendors, Richardson adds, “I always keep at least five spaces open for new people because I do get a lot of applications from repeat vendors. The event has everything from crochet to knit items, bath items, toys, handmade clothing, jewelry, soap, and candles.”

The majority of the vendors are local, with some vendors from as far away as Chicago, the Twin Cities, with one vendor driving in from Indiana.

At least half of the vendors also sell their items on consignment in Richardson’s brick and mortar location, The Glitter Workshop, on 6138 Mineral Point Road in Madison.

“The Holiday Craftacular gives people an opportunity to meet the artists in person” she said. “If you see a handmade sweater you like, you can get to know the artist and place an order from them at the show or after the event.”

The 2011 Holiday Craftacular will feature local photography studio, Funky Monkey Photography, with winter backdrops set up on site for mini holiday photo sessions (both individual and family portraits).

Food is available for purchase through the caterers at the East Side Club, as well as cupcakes and sweets from Fitchburg-based Sugarbomb Dessert Company.

Web and print sponsorship opportunities are currently available for the Holiday Craftacular. “Any sponsorship money will go towards additional web and print advertising. Right now we’re doing a lot of guerilla advertising with flyers, posters, and handbills.” For more information visit The Glitter Workshop online at:  

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