Holiday Magic Illuminates Winter Fantasy

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Faux snow brought delight to small-fry during last year’s Winter Fantasy.
Faux snow brought delight to small-fry during last year’s Winter Fantasy.

With displays of creative wares set off by dazzling holiday décor, the Sawdust Art Festival’s annual Winter Fantasy opens this Saturday, Nov. 18, and remains open for five consecutive weekends, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., until Dec. 17.

Festive décor and thousands of twinkling lights transform the three-acre eucalyptus grove into a fantasy of faux winter for shoppers on the hunt for distinctive gifts.

Winter Fantasy features the work of 182 artists from around the world, including 22 newcomers this season, says spokesperson Franky Duschane. Art media includes jewelry, clothing, fused and blown glass, ceramics, woodwork, forged metals, painting, photography, sculpture, clothing and textiles.

Highlights include a community tree lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. this Saturday featuring 14 trees decorated by community organizations, photos with Santa available daily and a holiday toy drive collection for Toys for Tots.

Children will be treated to a Holiday Playhouse featuring puppeteers and a magician, carolers, art and craft classes and a Town Square featuring snow machines, Santa’s house and a playhouse.

Like its longer-running sister show in summer, Winter Fantasy offers entertainment on three stages, four outdoor cafés, an espresso bar, a popcorn booth and the Sawdust Saloon, Duschane says.

David Morgan, an exhibitor last November, shapes wood into ornaments, beer steins, and even headgear in his booth at Winter Fantasy on the Sawdust Festival grounds.
David Morgan, an exhibitor last November, shapes wood into ornaments, beer steins, and even headgear in his booth at Winter Fantasy on the Sawdust Festival grounds.
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