Holiday MADE Fairs filled the Exhibition Hall at Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds Dec. 1-2, then wrap up for the season in Missoula Dec. 9, with new and returning artists offering an eclectic range of Montana-made gifts. These original Montana events were recently named some of the Best Fall and Holiday Craft Fairs in the U.S. by Pop Shop America.
With more than 300 artists sharing wares between the too shows, “you are guaranteed to find that perfect gift for someone on your list, or for yourself,” says founder and event organizer Carol Lynn Lapotka. She notes that more than 25% of the artists participating in this year’s events have not participated in previous MADE fairs. In addition, “we’ve been excited to see how our regular artists have grown in their quality and presentation.”
Missoula: Shop all three levels of the Adams Center (balcony, arena floor, and upper gyms) from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 9 during Missoula’s 12th annual Holiday MADE fair. More than 220 artists offer creations at this year’s event. The fair offers free entry and parking, and plenty of room to shop, with additional discounts and offers during Happy Hours, the last two hours of the show. The first 50 people through the door receive free tote bags. Although entry is free, visitors are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to help restock the shelves at the Missoula Food Bank.
MADE fair: Much more than crafts!
For those who have never witnessed a MADE fair, Lapotka offers a few tantalizing suggestions of what they might find:
- Gifts that will inspire your next project
- Plenty of items to show your love of Montana
- Heirloom quality leather goods to be your daily companion
- Ceramic vessels to hold your favorite cup of coffee
- Gifts to keep you warm when the winter winds blow
Offerings also include a wide array of fine art from illustrators, artists, painters, and photographers, as well as functional treasures from jewelers, ceramists, printers and designers.
Bozeman MADE fair
More than 200 artists and 7,000 customers participated in Bozeman’s first-ever MADE fair in October, and Lapotka says next year’s dates are already set for Oct. 26-27.
“Bozeman was awesome,” she adds. “It was a beautiful sunny weekend. Some shoppers got a jump on holiday gifts and others were shopping for themselves.
The MADE fair is a modern art and handcrafted market featuring local and regional artists and makers. Each event offers a curated collection of works by skilled artisans while highlighting a handful of non-profits. The MADE fair’s mission is to increase awareness of handmade goods as an alternative to mass-produced items and support local and regional small craft business by providing a place to sell their goods.
“We provide opportunities to artists of all levels – from the hobbyist to the seasoned professional,” says Lapotka. “Thank you for supporting your local artists and a sweat-shop free economy.”