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The Daily Tar Heel

Annual Elf Fair features Carrboro artists

The fair is an arts and crafts festival showcasing local artists. This year there will be a demonstration by the Triangle Weavers Guild among other activities.

Amanda Barr, founder of the Elf Fair, said the fair has evolved and grown over the years. She started calling it the Elf Fair to represent the hard work of the artists.

“I wanted it to be something that would stick over time,” Barr said.

“And what would embody arts and crafts more than elves? Because elves are supposedly making arts and crafts, it’s less about elves and more about what elves do.”

Barr wanted the fair to be a place for different types of art to showcase the talents of the community.

“I was open to more contemporary ideas as well. It was more like ‘lets mess things up a little bit, lets have fun, lets be creative, lets be imaginative,’” she said.

Phaedra Kelly, the director of the ArtsCenter’s ArtSchool and one of the planners of Elf Fair, said the event provides a great way to finish Christmas shopping while supporting local artists.

“It’s great because if you buy things out there, you’re shopping local, which means the money is staying in the local economy,” she said. “It’s an opportunity for people to buy handmade goods that are often better quality and more meaningful than things you would buy at a department store or a mall. It’s also just a lot of fun.”

The fair will have 40 venders — more than the fair has ever had in the past, according to Kelly.

“We have a variety of different kinds of vendors and crafts for sale,” Kelly said.

The event will also offer a bar that will feature holiday beverages. Children can head to the kids’ zone for hands-on crafts and holiday movies.

“From things like ceramics and soaps, photography and screen-printing, and woodworking stuff, it’s just a really nice selection of crafts.”

Kara LaFleur, one of the Elf Fair planners and an artist who creates children’s textile arts and crafts that she calls Brilliant Handmade, said the Elf Fair is different than other local artist shows.

“Elf Fair is special because it’s a little quirky,” LaFleur said. “It’s not just your typical candles and ornaments craft fair.”

“There are some truly talented clothing designers, jewelry artists, silversmiths and wood artists. It’s not like a bake sale,” she said.

LaFleur said Elf Fair benefits the community, fostering a festive and supportive environment for both shoppers and vendors.

“It reminds them of how many creative individuals live right in the community,” LaFleur said. “Bringing people together in a shopping experience is kind of cultural. It’s really neat to walk into a building and see how many things your community can produce.”

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