Craft Fair Funds Community Foundation


Gracie Woidat, Staff Writer

The Santa’s Bag Boutique, a 25-year old holiday craft fair featuring the work of local artisans, was held at the Lafayette Community Center from November 30 through December 2.

“I always look forward to the room with all the food because of the alluring samples, which are always really yummy and they tell you more about the product before you actually buy it,” said sophomore Katie Price, who added that visiting Santa’s Bag is 1 of her “favorite Christmas traditions.”

Customers were free to mill about between the 2 main rooms of the boutique. The 1st room featured a variety of homemade food, ranging from tried and true holiday classics like peppermint bark to more innovative treats such as ready-to-eat cakes in a jar. Nearly every food display offered samples, 1 of the reasons why the food room is such a crowd-pleaser.

The room also showcased a collection of gift baskets made by the Lafayette Community Center Foundation out of donations from local businesses. 

Santa’s Boutique also featured many artisans selling their handmade crafts. The diverse creations included jewelry, soaps, candles, knit accessories, garden sculptures, tree ornaments, pet items, and more. “Everything is very interesting to look at because all of the products are so unique and cool, it makes me really glad that I came,” said junior Annabeth Chow.

According to vendor Elaine Summers, the ingenuity of artists made the Santa’s Bag special. “People’s creativity never ceases to amaze, they just keep coming up with new ideas and inventing new things,” she said.

Summers has been a vendor at the event for approximately 20 years and said that the variety at the boutique has grown. “Back in the day when I was at this boutique it was all crocheted magnets on a fridge, and now everything is completely industrialized and original,” said Summers. “By introducing so many new things, it keeps the community vibrant.”

Event coordinator Judy Gregerson said, “I think it’s so important [to support local artisans] because to me, art is very important, and to have the community support that is wonderful.”

Gregerson started Santa’s Bag 28 years ago with a group of 15 other women who wished to sell their handmade items. Her love of art and her “eye for what’s been handmade” led her to start the boutique, which has since become a “real community event, where people come and reunite with people they’ve known.”

According to Gregerson, Santa’s Bag gives people a strong sense of community where they feel like they belong. “I think it’s really important these days to have a sense of community rather than just being this lone person living in Lafayette,” said Gregerson.