People fill the room to shop for locally crafted goods while visiting Santa at the MARC Holiday Art and Craft Fair in 2012. [Photo courtesy / MARC]

Holiday shopping can officially begin this weekend with two community fairs: One at the Moab Arts and Recreation Center (MARC) and the other at the Grand Center.

The MARC Holiday Arts and Craft Fair and the Grand Center Gift Fair will both be held Friday and Saturday. Between the two venues, there are nearly 100 vendors sharing their wares.

The MARC’s Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair focuses on handcrafted goods “made by your neighbors”.

“We only allow handmade stuff. It is much like going to the Moab Farmer’s Market. It will be either you or your co-conspirators who have made the items,” said Ariel Atkins, asst. director at the MARC.

She said that it is a great place for people to find one-of-a-kind gifts.

“Most of the items will be made by your neighbors here in Moab,” Atkins said.

However, a few artists from Arizona and Colorado will be traveling to Moab to share their wares at the fair.

Featuring only hand-made items furthers the mission of the MARC, to support local art and creativity within the community.

At 6 p.m., Friday BEACON’s Moab Strings Program will perform a short preview of the holiday concert to be held Dec. 17 at Star Hall. Valley Voices will sing carols at 11 a.m., Saturday. Canyonlands Rodeo will be providing pony rides between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

“Bring the kiddos,” Atkins said. “Santa will swing by from the North Pole for pictures on Saturday.”

Santa Claus will be very busy Saturday, as he will also be visiting at the Grand Center’s Gift Fair.

Moab Photo Coalition will be on site doing three different holiday themes on both Friday Saturday, and pictures with Santa on Saturday from 11 to 3 p.m.

The Grand Center Gift Fair will be held on both Friday and Saturday as well.

“This is a great place to come out and find a unique Christmas gift for yourself or others. There will be great local vendors,” said Jody Ellis, coordinator for Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP).

The Grand Center Gift Fair is a two-part fundraiser for programming.

“RSVP gets the money from the booths, and the Senior Center from the food,” Ellis said.

The Café will feature Navajo tacos, hot dogs, chili dogs, Frito pie, chicken noodle soup and assorted pies. There will also be “famous” sticky buns made by Verleen Striblen, the Grand Center’s director, Ellis said.

The monies for RSVP allow for service activities.

“Volunteers have made travel pillows as part of a fundraiser this year,” Ellis said.

MARC’s Holiday Art and Craft Fair

When: 4 to 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 6

10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7

Where: Moab Arts and Recreation Center, 111 E. 100 North

Grand Center Gift Fair

When: 4 to 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 6

10 a.m. To 5 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7

Where: Grand Center, 152 N. 500 West

“Bring the kiddos. Santa will swing by from the North Pole for pictures on Saturday.” 

Santa, gifts, crafts and food at the MARC and Grand Center