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Christina Stock Photo This year, the Holly-Day Magic fair returns to the Eastern New Mexico State Fairgrounds.

The holiday art fair and fundraiser returns to Eastern New Mexico State fairgrounds

By Christina Stock

Vision Editor

The 38th annual Holly-Day Magic fair and fundraiser takes place at the Eastern New Mexico State Fairgrounds, in the new commercial building, 2500 SE Main St., on Nov. 22 and 23. The doors open Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and on Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

This year is the second time Holly-Day Magic takes place at ENMSF. According to its organizer, Vera Carabajal, the event has outgrown any other locations in town. “Last year, we had 92 booths. We’ve been getting so many more people, and we can have up to 150 booths in there. We are going to take them (applications) up to the last minute. We can fill that place up, so we told them, just keep sending them. We’re not going to have a deadline this year,” Carabajal said.

Carabajal is looking forward to taking full advantage of the large building. “We are bringing out ‘Big Bertha,’” she said. “We’re going to put her in the back — she’s that big Christmas tree, if you remember, at the Convention Center. We’re planning on decorating it up and bringing more people in. It’s going to be exciting.

“This year we have the Assurance Home and the First T of Southeastern New Mexico, we have the Christian Fellowship Ministries and we are also helping with the Roswell High and Goddard High project graduation. That’s where our majority of money goes, other than expenses for advertising. I don’t think we expressed that enough before. This is not just an art and craft show, it is a fundraiser for these kids,” Carabajal said. There will be hourly drawings for donated items and raffle tickets available. According to Carabajal, there will be a framed and signed print by Gordon Snidow as well as a wreath by artist Nancy Kiesau.

Kiesau is this year’s featured artist. In an email she wrote, “I’ve been with Holly-Day Magic for at least 12 years and have enjoyed every minute of it. Being selected as featured artist for 2019 is an honor. I’m so appreciative of the committee choosing my work to highlight. I hope you will enjoy the farmhouse-style wreath I have created for the raffle and will support all the charities Holly-Day Magic has selected for this year.

“I have been crafting for as long as I can remember. I started out helping my parents with their crafting endeavors. My father was a woodworker making some wonderful yard art and stage scenery for my mother’s dance studio recitals — I can remember pushing crêpe paper in chickenwire to make bushes and trees for hours on end. My mother has always been crafty, too. Drawing and creating the scenery for my dad to cut and then she would paint. They created Christmas yards every year. Myself and the neighborhood kids would come and help set up and decorate. The local small town newspaper would wait patiently until the yard was complete as they would have it (on the) front page every year. Dad passed away 10 years ago, but up until he was 80, he was still making his yard art for Calico Christmas. Mom is 96 now and colors in her coloring books for hours every day. The crafting bug never stops,” Kiesau wrote.

“My husband, Scott, not really the crafter, is very involved with the hundreds of craft shows I’ve done through the years. I don’t know what I would do without him. He was always there by my side helping with the Christmas On The Pecos Gift Shop, which I managed for 17 years. My daughter leads craft activities with her church groups and my son-in-law is a fabulous woodworker in his own right. My son works on cars — that’s his craft. My two older grandchildren love to craft with me whenever they visit. My grandson, 6, is autistic and he loves detailed work. It’s challenging sometimes to find something to keep his full attention. My granddaughter, 7, just wants to do whatever I’m working on. She’s learning how to make wreaths at the moment. My youngest granddaughter, 1, will follow in her grandma’s footsteps soon,” Kiesau wrote.

A new artist attending is Eileen Garfield. “She is young — she is so excited about this show and she travels. They just got back from New Hampshire. I am so impressed with young people, that they are getting involved with this; and this is their livelihood. She is out of Corona. We need to have somebody new, and she is so excited about life and loves what she does. When you have somebody that is like that, it tends to rub off,” Carabajal said.

In an email, Garfield wrote, “I’ve lived in the Southwest most of my life. I began creating arts and crafts as a young girl and have been involved in arts and craft shows throughout the United States for many years. My excitement of the Christmas spirit, along with my love of animals, has been a huge inspiration in creating my crafts. I’m very excited to be a part of the Holly-Day Magic Arts and Crafts Show and am looking forward to this year’s event. I’ve always been impressed with the staff and leadership of this show, as they have always given back to their community. I feel honored to be included in this tradition of kindness and am very excited to participate in this year’s show.

Asked about the other artists attending and to give the readers a teaser on what to expect, Carabajal said, “We have our basic people who have been with us forever that do the clothing. And we have one person that we’ve always had that did her soaps, and now, we’re going to start doubling up. If there is somebody who wants to come in and do soaps, if it is a different variety of soap, then fine. If you use soap this way, but use goat milk in yours, just do it. If they are different, it’s ok, there is no competition. So that’s how we are looking at it this year.

“We’ve got nine applications for jewelry. There will be a paper jeweler, and I have never seen paper jewelry. She sent me pictures and I thought those are absolutely gorgeous. I want to see them,” Carabajal said.

“You’ll have those artists who use copper, then you have people that use silver, we have native jewelry and now we do the pottery. I told them I like whimsical pottery, now we’re looking for more people with functioning pottery. As long as you are unique and different, we’re going to take you,” Carabajal said.

There will be different food items at the fair. “Kik’s (Thai food truck) is going to come back out again. We have a new couple from Carlsbad that is called Babba’s food truck. They do hot pies, they are famous for it. They are like little turnover pies but they are hot, like empanadas. They make different types and they do sandwiches. So we have that. We’re going to have a person that does pecans and almonds and everything. They are going to do one with pecan spice, then they’ll do the caramelized ones. They are starting brand-new. They came from Colorado and they moved here. It’s a young couple and this is going to be their first show, ever. We’ve been out looking and recruiting people that we find are really unique in what they do,” Carabajal said.

Then there are the returning vendors. “The gentleman who makes those medicinal magnetic bracelets will be there,” Carabajal said. “Last year, we talked him into coming and now he wants to come back. He is from Arizona and he is going to travel all that way because he liked it. Chris Guttierez is coming back and he wants to do some different stuff, too, and we are working together to find a way to position him to where he can do a little booth for kids to come take pictures and magic stuff. We’re doing a lot of very cool things, I think.”

The organizers are planning to have a small seating area at the entrance, additionally to the tables and seats in the back.

For more information, email holly-daymagic@outlook.com or call Vera Carabajal at 575-840-8080.