Grove arts and craft fair arrives in time for holidays – Chicago Tribune
This year marks the 30th anniversary of Grove Holiday Arts and Craft Faire, co-sponsored by The Grove Heritage Association and the Glenview Park District, with proceeds from this eight-day-long event supporting the Grove, a 143-acre nature and historic landmark site and outdoor history museum.
The show will be different from most other craft shows, says Grove Program Supervisor Kris Van Voorhis.
“Coming to The Grove Arts and Craft Faire is an experience, just being here, the grounds decorated so beautifully – at night it’s like walking through a holiday wonderland,” Van Voorhis said. “We have customers that come from out of town to visit friends or family, who center their visit around our show, and in 2014 we averaged 4,000 shoppers over the eight-day event.”
The preview night for the event runs from 5-9 p.m. on Nov. 4, and the fair continues November 5 to 8 and 12 to 15. Times are Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Grove, designated as a national historic landmark in 1976, will be transformed for the Holiday Arts and Craft Faire season into a variety of themed shopping sites – the Holiday House (Kennicott Historic Home), Grannie’s Cottage (Redfield Estate), Santa’s Workshop (Carriage House), Gingerbread House, Snowflake Chalet, Mistletoe Cabin and Sugar Plum Café (Program Barn).
The opening room in each house has a different theme each year.
“This year in the Holiday House, the room will reflect stepping into a warm and cozy Christmas set in someone’s home,” Van Voorhis said. “Some of our exhibitors have been with us for years, and by changing some of the themes each year, it keeps them thinking of new merchandise to create. Exhibitors are chosen based on handmade quality and uniqueness.”
This year’s show features an array of handmade holiday gifts, decorations and ornaments, wearable garments, jewelry, handbags, handmade soaps and treats, made by 55 exhibitors from Illinois, Southern Wisconsin and Indiana.
According to Van Voorhis, every year in December, The Grove Heritage Association, (a citizen support group for The Grove), begins to think about how they can make the show for the following year slightly different.
“We want the customer to come back the following year expecting something new,” Van Voorhis said.
This year, one of those current arts and crafts trends, burlap and lace, will be included in the 2015 show.
This year will also feature exhibitors like Laura Zelinski from Kenosha, who will set up shop in The Grove’s Herb Shed (Mistletoe Cabin) selling her handmade soaps, lotions and teas. Van Voorhis added that all Zelinski’s products are made with natural ingredients.
Exhibitor Barb Moorman of Round Lake, who works as a re-purpose, reuse and recycle artist with a flair for 1950s-1960s style. Her wares will be found by shoppers stepping into the Kennicott Archives building (the Snowflake Chalet) and are reminiscent of vintage holiday celebrations.
Van Voorhis said a fair favorite each year has been a personalized ornament. This year, personalization services will be in both the Holiday House and Grannie’s Cottage.
Organizers said The Grove Holiday Arts and Craft Faire offers a holiday shopping experience unlike a trip to the mall.
“Our customers are drawn to natural products, to hand-crafted and rustic items that will help them create a homey traditional holiday, giving warmth and a comforting feeling of home,” Van Voorhis said. “Many begin their holiday shopping season at The Grove fair, where we try to re-create a setting that rekindles memories of childhood and Christmases past.”
Gina Grillo is a Pioneer Press freelance reporter.