BRATTLEBORO >> Holiday shopping can be exhausting, but who says it has to be?
At the 17th Annual Cotton Mill Open Studio and Holiday Sale starting Friday, Dec. 4, from 4 to 7 p.m. and continuing on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., a shopper can find special artisan gifts, delicious food, entertainment and demonstrations all in one place. In addition to many of the past favorites, there will be 15 new vendors participating in the event.
Kick off the weekend with a breeze-through to get an overview of what is available, grab something delicious from Tristan Toleno's Entera Catering, and settle into an evening of music at the Vermont Jazz Center's annual scholarship fundraiser. They will be presenting an evening of Big Band Swing and dancing beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets are required for this event and are available online at www.vtjazz.org/events/. Oh, and you might want to buy a few pieces of Tavernier Chocolates for later, to go with the smoky jazz.
Come back on Saturday and Sunday to check out the tenants of Cotton Mill, see their studios, and buy their wares. Vendors who are not Mill tenants will have booths set up in the hallways on all three floors. There will be scrumptious foods, soft alpaca hats and brilliantly colored woven scarves, functional and decorative pottery and glass, jewels and ironwork and more, each booth a museum unto itself.
In-between browsing, buying, and food sampling enjoy the pop-up hallway entertainment, studio workshops, and demonstrations. Vermont Jazz Center participants will be offering short concerts, The New England Center for Circus Arts will have demonstrations and sample classes, SoBo dance studio will present a number of free performances, and Steve Procter master potter of giant pots will have ongoing demonstrations of pot construction.
More than a holiday sale, it's a community event, an opportunity to be entertained, and to treat yourself to delicacies and activities you always wanted to try.
Maps of the building and the location of each vendor, as well as a schedule of performances will be available at the door. You can register to win a free raffle food basket filled with participating artisans' products. Additional raffle tickets can be purchased for products created by the artists and artisans.
Admission to this event is free and the building is handicap accessible. More information with links to each artist's website is available from thecottonmill.org