Kenan ready for Christmas shopping - The Buffalo News

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Kenan ready for Christmas shopping

LOCKPORT – Looking for beaded wooden boxes to tuck under the Christmas tree? How about clothing made of spun alpaca wool or handmade journals?

If you’re interested in making holiday shopping a more personal experience as you search for unique gifts, visit the Holiday Gift Show planned for the Kenan Center this weekend.

A total of 50 juried artisans and crafters will offer their wares from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $4.

This is the 33rd year the Kenan Arts Council has sponsored this show, and exhibitors may be found on two floors of the historic Kenan Mansion, 433 Locust St., as well as in the nearby Taylor Theatre, Potting Shed and Education Building.

Exhibitor Sarah Woodman, of Middleport, creates knitted animals of very soft yarn – sometimes so realistic her own husband once mistook a handcrafted toy puppy for the real thing as it perched on a couch.

“It’s a great show, and people really appreciate that everything is handmade and made right here in the USA,” she said. “And, the artists will talk to you about it. It’s really exciting.”

The buildings are decorated “in an Old World Christmas tradition,” added Woodman. “The Kenan Mansion is absolutely stunning.”

Artisans offer a wide array of original creations throughout four buildings, from dried flower arrangements to jewelry and creations of glass, fiber, wood and fabric. Also look for: soaps and lotions; Santas; candles; metal wall sculptures; dolls; and gourmet items like chocolates, preserves and mustards, as well as many other unique gifts.

This is Woodman’s fourth year in the show. Returning customers know about her popular puppies and horses, but keep an eye out for her buffalo this year, too. Some buffalo are ornament-sized, and some a little bigger for “under the tree,” she said. “About 80 percent of my customers are adults, and they say these animals are for their grandchildren, but I think they’re lying,” she added with a laugh.

Lockport resident Patricia Randal is another local exhibitor, and she has been crocheting metal jewelry for the past seven years.

“I use a plastic-coated wire because it’s very flexible and easy to work with,” she said. “It looks really nice and lays very nicely. This jewelry is really different.”

She said her cottage industry took hold when she began wearing her jewelry to work and people started placing orders. Last year was her first at the Kenan show.

“I use all types of different beads and semiprecious stones, so they’re very colorful,” she said. “I make earrings, necklaces and bracelets. They’re one-of-a-kind. I crochet them, just like you would crochet a sweater.”

In addition, the Kenan Quilters’ Guild will be selling raffle tickets in the Kenan Mansion, for one of its exquisite quilts. The Kenan Herb Club, located just outside the Potting Shed, also will offer interesting homespun gifts from the garden.

The nearby Taylor Theatre’s stage will be the setting for the “On the Stage” Café, where Shamus Restaurant will serve soups, gourmet sandwiches and desserts. In addition, steamy mulled cider, hot coffee, tea and cold drinks will be available for purchase.

“Black Willow Winery will offer free tastings and sell bottles of their wine,” said Jane Corser, one of the co-chairwomen of the event. “This is something new and different this year.”

The Goody Booth will be located in the Potting Shed, where patrons can purchase homemade cookies, candy, breads and holiday cakes. Shoppers should check out the Meeting Room annex, where even more artisans will be located, as well as raffle items donated by local merchants. Shoppers also need to visit the Education Building, where more booths will offer a variety of crafts.

Proceeds from the show support the Kenan Center’s multitude of community-oriented programs, as well as the Kenan Arts Council’s scholarships and arts grants to area schools. Co-chairwomen of the event with Corser are Manning McCandlish, Barbara Hollasch and Kathy Greenfield.

“All of the money goes back to the Kenan Center, as well as to scholarships and arts grants,” said Corser.

The Kenan Center is a regional community center for arts, education and recreation located on 25 acres. Facilities include a sports arena; theater; education building; outdoor recreation fields; and the 1850s Kenan Mansion, which features a year-round art gallery and formal gardens. For more information, visit

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