Hard Candy Christmas returns to WCU Nov. 26-27

A popular post-Thanksgiving arts and crafts tradition will once again fill Western Carolina University’s Ramsey Center for two days of holiday fun.

The 23rd annual Hard Candy Christmas Fine Art and Craft Show is Nov. 26-27, featuring more than 100 artisans hand-picked by show organizer and veteran crafter Doris Hunter.

Hunter spends the year visiting shows throughout the Southeast, seeking talented crafters who add a special touch to her show, which gets its name from a simpler era when folks enjoyed the season with stockings of hard candy and gifts made by hand.

“I invited many different crafters this year who focus on holiday items, such as ornament makers,” Hunter said. “These artisans create heirlooms to pass down through the generations.”

This two-day event, the largest holiday arts and crafts show in Western North Carolina, features a variety of hand-made items from basket weavers, wood carvers, quilters, silversmiths, potters, furniture makers, blacksmiths, glass blowers and doll makers.

Holiday items available include candles, ornaments, trees, wreaths and peanut brittle.

“I found one of the best dessert candle makers ever – Brenda Clark from Alabama – who will be exhibiting her delightful creations,” Hunter said. “Also Phyllis Mann of Hendersonville weaves those ‘hard to find’ cotton rugs and placemats, while Father Christmas dolls from Debbie Trantham of Candler and Betty Spivy of Mt. Airy, Ga., are big hits each year.”

The show has grown so much that a dozen artisans will be displaying outside the arena.

Show hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Admission is $3 per person, with children under age 12 admitted free. Parking is free.

“With the tough times we’ve been through recently, people need fun things to do,” Hunter said. “And it is fun to take off to the mountains and go to a show filled with holiday cheer.”

For show info call Doris Hunter at 828.524.3405 or visit: www.mountainartisans.net. For info on dining and lodging, call the Jackson County Visitors Center at 800.962.1911.

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