Nov. 23: All Saints 17th Annual ‘Holly Days’ Festival

By on November 1, 2019


All Saints Episcopal Church in Southern Shores is gearing up for its annual Holly Days bazaar and arts festival, which will be held on Friday, Nov. 22 and Saturday, Nov. 23, the weekend prior to Thanksgiving.

The members of the organizing committee, Dave and Sandy Briggman and Tim McKeithan, sat down with the Voice this week to share information about the event, which is now in its seventeenth year.

Even Santa shows up at the Holly Days bazaar and arts festival. (Photo courtesy All Saints Episcopal Church in Southern Shores)

“This is a joyful event. I can’t wait for the doors to open on the first day,” said Sandy Briggman. “Seeing the excitement and the curiosity of the all the guests coming in makes all the work worthwhile. It is an honor to participate in this event for an organization [All Saints Church] that donates so much to community charities.”

Holly Days will showcase the wares of 37 artists and crafters, including stained glass, pottery, paintings, jewelry, photography, wooden art, soaps and oils, fabric and yarn creations, painted glassware, and much more.

The two-day festival will take place on Friday, Nov. 22 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 23 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the All Saints Episcopal Church, located at 40 Pintail Trail, Southern Shores, near Kitty Hawk Elementary School. The sanctuary, school building, and outdoor gazebo are all taken over by vendors, and admission is free to the public.

The organizing committee received applications from 62 potential vendors this year, making the selection process a competitive one. Artists submit several photographs of their work to the committee for consideration, the only requirement being that all the wares must be created by the vendor.

The event was started in 2002, and the Briggmans and McKeithan have been running it for the past five years. The group starts planning as early as July, and more than 100 people, including some non-parishioners, volunteer to make the event happen.

In addition to hosting the vendors, the Church puts on a silent auction of donated goods and services, as well as a raffle. They also host a ‘lunch café’ to feed customers and vendors throughout the day.

The attention to the needs of the vendors is what sets this festival apart from other art and craft fairs in the area, Sandy Briggman explained. Church members bring vendors coffee and snacks in the morning as they set up, and even deliver lunch to them from the lunch café so they don’t have to leave their booths.

“It’s this sort of attention that makes many vendors tell us this is their favorite fair,” Mrs. Briggman said.

Holly Days is very successful from a financial standpoint, and brings in more money each year, the committee said. Last year’s festival raised $32,000 in just two days, 10 percent of which is donated to local charities. The rest of the money goes into the Church’s operations budget, to pay for general upkeep and the rector’s salary. The Church charges vendors $160 per booth, but the silent auction brings in the majority of the funds.

In that vein, the committee remarked on the success of the Church’s ‘After Dark’ program, an annual series of evening classes open to the public that begins in February. Parishioners and non-parishioners alike can sign up for classes in cooking, yoga, computers, and much more. The program, which began ten years ago, donates one hundred percent of its proceeds to a rotating group of seven charities. Last year, the event raised about $20,000.

The organizing committee also thanked Ocean Atlantic Rentals, which lends a trailer to store the Church’s furniture during the festival; Stack ‘Em High in Kill Devil Hills; Dr. Scott Bobrow, of the Outer Banks Family and Cosmetic Dentistry; and Kitty Hawk Elementary School which donates overflow parking spaces.

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See what people are saying:

  • Jim Conners

    A great program where you can buy all kinds of locally crafted, and useful items, as well as homemade baked goods.

    Monday, Nov 11 @ 6:38 pm