Visions of sugarplums are dancing in the heads of area craft enthusiasts, who are opting to shun the mall this weekend in favor of one-of-a-kind gifts.
The Sugar Plum Festival opens its holiday arts and crafts extravaganza this weekend at the OC Fair & Event Center.
More than a typical holiday boutique, the festival brings women together to socialize with their friends and meet artisans in person in a festive indoor atmosphere, while perusing a variety of traditional Christmas and Thanksgiving décor, gifts and specialty foods.
The products include home, garden and yard décor, jewelry, clothing for all ages, personalized gifts and ornaments, and antiques and collectibles.
The owners are proud to offer a wide range of popular styles of gifts during the holidays that can't be found in retail stores, including country accents like table centerpieces and wreaths, teddy bears, trains, angels, snowmen, scarecrows and other harvest décor, napkins and placemats, and candles and candle holders.
Personalization is available for a wide range of products, from monograms to full names and special messages, making them ideal for friends, family members and even teachers, organizers said.
Delicacies include baked goods like breads, scones and cookies; famous handmade tamales; soups and dips; jams and jellies; fudge and candies; and spectacular candied apples.
Since 1978, the company has brought traditional, handcrafted seasonal gifts to an avid group of buyers. It began in the home of Camilla Richter in 1978, when she and her friends and relatives were trying to raise money for their own Christmas gifts, Camilla's husband, Fred, said.
Now the couple puts on Sugar Plum Festivals year-round throughout the region, but the annual holiday fair is their most spectacular.
Fred Richter said he believes the show has become so popular due to the couple's habit of putting their vendors and customers first.
"We don't charge admission; we just want them to have a good time," he said. "The way we profit is, if you enjoy yourself, you're going to tell someone about it, so it's word-of-mouth advertising. What we go on is quality, service and price."
If You Go
What: Sugar Plum Festival
When: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday
Where: OC Fair & Event Center, Building 10 and Parade of Products
Cost: Free admission; parking $5 (a tram will be available from the parking lot)
Information: (562) 598-0857 or sugarplumcrafts.com
Note: No strollers, bags, carts or wagons will be admittedCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun