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Winter Gift Market: 100 percent Cache Valley artisan

By Danielle Manley

LOGAN — Sounds of amplified jazz guitar rang through the doors of the Bullen Center. Members from the community hustled around each other to see the finely crafted items at every table. Local artisans gathered for the 10th annual Winter Gift Market in early December.

Becky Yeager, Joy Brisighella and Sharon Ohlhorst are the administrators of the annual event.

“It’s one hundred percent Cache Valley artisan,” Brisighella said. “We don’t go outside of the valley at all. Everything has to be made by the person that’s there with the product. It’s the only market that doesn’t have pre-manufactured items.”

Much was the same about the gift market this year like the artisans who sold their original products the Christmas shopping many people do at the market. But a few things made this year unique.

“There were four or five authors,” Brisighella said. “It was really neat to see all the books. You could get them autographed too. I bid and bought some books for gifts because I think it’s so neat to have a local author.”

Live music was another element added to the lively atmosphere. Volunteer musicians sat for a few hours at a time to add background music while the community shopped.

Though Friday is often busier than Saturday, this year’s opening night was especially busy for the artisans.

“We had a really busy Friday,” Brisighella said. “It was awesome. We were busy every minute. I think it’s a combination of the gallery walk crowd, our usual market friends because they would come regardless and the third thing is that it was American Festival Chorus downstairs.”

Returning vendors show up every year, but there were also a few new faces at the market.

Misha Palza was selling her handmade Christmas wreathes. Not made out of pine branches, but Christmas ornaments.

“Some are made out of shatterproof balls and some are glass,” Palza said. “It costs about $25 to make one and this is my first year selling them here.” Palza’s wreathes ranged anywhere from twenty to fifty dollars depending on the type of ornament and the size of the wreath.

Palza was pleased to be accepted into the market this year.

“We don’t turn down very many vendors, but we usually end up turning down from three to five artisans because we only have 30 spaces,” Blisighella said.

Applications require five photos of the product and the artisan must be a resident Cache Valley. The applicants are reviewed by a jury of five people.

The winter gift market administration will start accepting applications for 2013 this summer.

NW