Holiday Festival at TTU's Craft Center set for the weekend following Thanksgiving

The weekend following Thanksgiving is more than just the official start of the holiday shopping season.

It’s also time for the annual Holiday Festival at the Appalachian Center for Craft, a satellite campus of Tennessee Tech University, set for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 25-27.

The event will feature — in addition to a relaxing shopping experience offering unique gifts for any holiday budget — daily craft demonstrations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., opportunities to meet exhibiting artists, live acoustic music by guitarist Jim Olsen and tasty treats from the walkway café from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

“The Holiday Festival can be a great day trip and family outing to kick off the season,” said Gail Looper, gallery manager.

Featured 2005 exhibitions are Felted Wool Wearables by Lisa Klakulak, former resident artist in the fibers department, and Craft Center Artists Past and Present, a celebration of the Craft Center’s 25th anniversary this year.

This year’s featured ornaments are dainty, whimsical creations by former Craft Center student Kerry Ebersole.

TTU employees are eligible for a 10 percent discount for purchases made at the Craft Center year-round.

“We are excited about the Holiday Festival because we continue to expand the experiences that shoppers and visitors to the Craft Center can enjoy during this festival weekend,” Looper said.

Friday’s craft demonstrations, for instance, will include glass bead making and weaving in the lobby. Klakulak will also be available in Gallery One for visitors interested in meeting the exhibiting artist.

Saturday will offer wheel thrown pottery by “face jug” artist Jim Sullivan and glass blowing demonstrations in the Craft Center’s hot glass studio, in addition to glass bead making and weaving.

Sunday’s demonstrations will include the return of Jim Sullivan on the potter’s wheel, glass bead making and weaving.

“We truly have a unique opportunity at the Craft Center to not only provide a pleasant holiday shopping experience, but to offer craft demonstrations, special exhibitions, live music and a café,” Looper said.

Following the festival, the gallery and exhibitions will be open seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., until Friday, Dec. 23. The Craft Center will reopen on Tuesday, Jan. 3, following the winter holiday season.

To get to the Craft Center, take Interstate 40 to Exit 273, go south toward Smithville on Highway 56 about six miles and turn left immediately after crossing Hurricane Bridge.

For more information, call the Craft Center at 615/597-6801 or 931/372-3051 or visit its web site at www.tntech.edu/craftcenter.

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