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If you’re looking for a holiday decoration stamped with the words “Made in China,” you don’t want to visit Christmas Made in the South. The juried craft fair makes several stops in Georgia and nearby every November and December.
The name pretty much describes what you’ll find from the 200 or so crafters and artisans who set up shop each Christmas season at the show. All the products are handmade by Southerners.
“Juried exhibit” means not just any crafter can come in and sell at the show. Artisans must send photos of their work to show officials. If the jurors see merit in the work—uniqueness, originality, quality, booth appeal—they invite the applicant to sell at the show. Exhibitors must display and sell the type of work reviewed by the judges.
Shows take on a regional flavor because the juries differ from place to place.
Where some regional shows might deal with a single craft, Christmas in the South welcomes a variety of works, as long as they deal with a single holiday: Christmas. When 200 or more crafters are selling in one spot, you’re bound to see all kinds of products.
Among the handcrafted items are pottery, candles, blown glass, tree ornaments, jewelry, tapestries, outdoor decorations, and painted and caned furniture, a popular category.
If you’re a crafter yourself, the shows offer a chance to talk to people who are good at what they do and usually are willing to talk about it. Learn new techniques. Find out what goes into a craft you might consider adding to your own repertoire.
You can personalize some products, too. Ornaments, for instance, can be ordered with your name or a family name, and maybe the year. It’s an opportunity to buy some personalized gifts for people on your Christmas list.
The show began as a church event on a single Saturday. Now it is run by Carolina Shows, Inc., which stages craft fairs and festivals throughout the South. Carolina Shows has been promoting events for more than 30 years, and it imbues each show with professionalism.
If the promoters find a product that doesn’t suit the tenor and standards of the exhibit, for instance, or doesn’t reflect what the jury approved, they’ll remove it. They’ll even take down signs that fail to meet standards.
Admission for all events is $7 for all three days, age 13 and older; children 12 and under enter free. For discounts, print $1 off coupons per ticket online
Two Christmas Made in the South shows remain this season in Georgia:
Venue: Macon CentrePlex200 Coliseum DriveMacon, GA 31217Dates: Nov. 2-4, 2018Times: Friday, 10 a.m. -7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.Admission: Parking: FreeDirections: The Macon CentrePlex is a 3½- to 4-hour drive from Crossing Creeks RV Resort & Spa. Venue: Savannah International Trade & Convention Center1 International DriveSavannah, GA 31421Dates: Nov. 16-18, 2018Times: Friday, 10 a.m. -6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.Admission: $7 admits one adult for all three days, age 13 and older; children 12 and under, freeDiscounts: Print $1 off coupons per ticket onlineParking: FreeDirections: The Savannah International Trade & Convention Center is a 5¾- to 6-hour drive from Crossing Creeks RV Resort & Spa. Another Christmas Made in the South will be in Jacksonville, Fla., during Thanksgiving weekend:
Venue: Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center 1000 Water St.Jacksonville, FL 32204Dates: Nov. 23-25, 2018Times: Friday, 9 a.m. -6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.Parking: $5-10Directions: The Prime Osborn III convention center is just under a six-hour drive from Crossing Creeks RV Resort & Spa.
There also will be a Christmas Made in the South in Ladson, S.C., just outside of Charleston, that’s actually a bit closer than Savannah:
Venue: Exchange Park Fairgrounds9850 Highway 78Ladson, SC 29456Dates: Nov. 30-Dec. 2, 2018Times: Friday, 10 a.m. -6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.Parking: FreeDirections: The Exchange Fairgrounds are a 5-hour and 20-minute drive from Crossing Creeks RV Resort & Spa.
Photo Credits: Christmas Made in the South
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