by Sarah A. Peterson
Classic holiday tunes like “Santa, Baby” and “White Christmas” wafted through the cold, bright air, mingling with the mouth-watering aromas of Gerardo’s Tacos, Top Dogs, and the Meltdown Bistro.
Craftapalooza Fresno hosted its annual Christmas Craftapalooza holiday boutique at Yoshi Now, on Saturday, December 12, to the delight of Valley shoppers looking to buy local and handmade for the holidays. “This is a perfect slice of the good that Fresno is up to,” said Jennifer Keehnel of Fresno. “I love to come out and support local artists, and there was a lot of quirky, fun stuff to shop for.” This year she purchased a couple of pieces of handmade jewelry and a crocheted “zombie gingerbread man ornament with a missing leg.”
Along with returning vendors like Calaveras y Diablitos, Fairy Tales and Rebel Yells, and The Peculiar Palette, newcomers such as Amber’s Anomalies, Fanny Jack Soaps, and The Purple Pig joined the diverse mix of local artisans who came out to debut their latest creations.
“The variety was awesome,” Keehnel said, “a little bit of everything. There was no oversaturation of any one type of craft or medium.”
“It was definitely a nice spread,” echoed Elle Pepper, also of Fresno. “It was the perfect day, weather-wise, for an open-air event. It was really well-organized, a lot of wide space to walk around, so it didn’t feel overly crowded.”
Fresno’s Steve Camacho was also there for the artisan-made wares – especially of the edible variety. “It all smelled so good,” he said, “the hot dogs, the tacos.”
But what Camacho liked the best were the sweets, in particular, those from first-time Craftapalooza vendor Patty Bakes. In addition to Red Velvet and Eggnog cupcakes, the fresh-baked bread is what he found the tastiest. “It was this cranberry-banana-walnut bread,” he said.
The variety of artwork also captured his attention. “There were pencil drawings, paintings, screen prints, and mixed-media works,” Camacho said. He was most impressed by Ziang Her’s anime, manga and fairy tale-inspired creations and the bold Star Wars themes of Fresno Underground Art. From Danielle Kerper’s darkly whimsical photography and artwork to the Day of the Dead-themed housewares of Calaveras y Diablitos, many tastes were catered to last Saturday, and shoppers came away satisfied.
“Everyone was super-friendly, and the food smelled amazing,” Elle Pepper said of Yoshi Now!’s Christmas Craftapalooza. “And the DJ was a nice touch; he really set the mood with his jams.”
Check out more local band & musician profiles in KRL’s music section.