Justin Holland meets Santa for the first time during a MARC Holiday Art and Craft Fair. [Photo courtesy of Moab Arts and Recreation Center]

If you’re looking for something special, something out of the ordinary — for either yourself or as a Christmas gift — there are two arts and crafts fairs happening this weekend and each one has an array of handcrafted, one-of-a-kind items.

The annual Holiday Craft Fair, formerly held at the Grand Center, will take place this year at the Moab Valley Inn, 711 S. Main St.

The long-running Holiday Craft Fair is a family event for Dominic Sanchez, his parents Jose and Pilar and his sister Molly Heil.

Dominic and Jose, 91, make wooden gifts, like toys and boxes, while Pilar and Molly crochet gifts like hats, gloves and kitchen scrubbers. Pilar also does quillwork and makes greeting cards. Molly does tatting, a type of lacework.  

As of last week, 26 vendors had signed up to sell their wares at the Holiday Craft Fair, where you’ll find homemade candles, macrame, wooden bowls, jewelry and paintings.

“There’s a little bit of everything,” Dominic Sanchez said. “A lot of locals come every year to do their Christmas shopping. There are a lot of handmade items. You can’t go to Walmart and buy this stuff.”

Another popular and long-running event is the Moab Arts and Recreation Center’s Holiday Art and Craft Fair, held at the MARC, 111 E. 100 North.

Fifty local and regional vendors will offer handcrafted items for sale at the Holiday Art and Craft Fair, with items such as ornaments, jewelry, holiday cards, ceramics, candles, soaps, textiles, salves, jams, syrups and more.

A new and unique offering this year is Noble Notes, where you can send a short, sweet, positive message to someone. Rhiana Medina and Aubrey Davis will each have a typewriter at their booth — a 1940s model favored by Ernest Hemingway, and a 1960s Olivetti Underwood, plus paper and stamps. Stop by and let them know what you want to say or use one of their phrases. They’ll type it up for you and even mail the note if you like. A donation is requested, though not required, to cover expenses.

People are intrigued by the idea of handwritten and typewritten notes, Davis said.

“We’re using this old form of communication to send a lovely note,” Davis said. “It’s a unique way to connect with people over the holidays. I love the vibe of the craft fair. It’s a big community event. We wanted to do something fun. The craft fair is a good opportunity to do that.”

Performing arts will also take place during the Holiday Art and Craft Fair throughout the weekend. Violin students will play fiddle music Friday evening. On Saturday, the all-women Valley Voices choral group will sing Christmas carols. Plus, Santa Claus will be present for the kids.

“It’s really fun,” said Liz Holland, MARC arts and special events assistant. “This is a big event. I love it.”

Visit two local arts and crafts fairs Nov. 30 and Dec. 1

When: 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1

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

Information: 435-259-6272

When: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1

Where: Moab Valley Inn, 711 S. Main St.

Information: 435-259-6722

“We’re using this old form of communication to send a lovely note. It’s a unique way to connect with people over the holidays.”