Nutcracker Faire moves season into warp drive

Make it so.

Yup, if Thanksgiving weekend started the season, this Friday and Saturday the holiday kicks into warp drive with not just the opening of the Nutcracker ballet (see story, page 1), but the annual Nutcracker Faire. The fair runs 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Saturday and noon-6 p.m. Sunday at Homer High School.

Sponsored by the Homer Council on the Arts, this year the fair is 100-percent Kenai Peninsula artists and crafters from as far away as Seward, all of whom have made their goods locally. About 110 booths offer wares like pottery, paintings, photography, jewelry, fiber arts and wood crafts. “The intent is to support local Kenai (Peninsula) artists,” said Peggy Paver, HCOA director.

So popular is the Nutcracker Faire among vendors that booth reservations filled up by mid-October, with a waiting list of 20. HCOA had to turn away a few Homer artists who hadn’t been at the Nutcracker Faire in several years, said Cindy Nelson, coordinator of the fair. She’s excited about some new booths, though.

“There’s some interesting new vendors who haven’t been here before,” Nelson said.

Volunteer Tim Quinn has designed a festive stage in the high school commons. Entertainment runs every half hour. Shoppers who need to rest their feet can pull up a chair by the stage and grab a meal or snack at several food booths.

HCOA will be selling curry and chili at its booth. Nelson has shared her secret chocolate chip cookie recipe — you know, the one that won a blue ribbon at the King County Fair, Seattle. Other food vendors sell sushi, Thai food, ice cream and coffee.

Nonprofit organizations also have booths.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at