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Annual Holiday Festival begins at Performing Arts Center

With miniature lights, holly wreaths with fat red bows and evergreen trees shout, “Happy Holidays!” now it’s time to get serious about gift shopping.

The annual Holiday Festival, sponsored by the City of Selma and The Old Depot Museum, opens for its 30th year at 10 a.m. Monday at the Larry Striplin Performing Arts Center. It will remain open daily until 5 p.m. through December 13.

Elise Blackwell, former tourism director of the Chamber of Commerce, organized the festival and worked with a nucleus of members of Cahawba Concern, the Cahawba Festival and the Chamber to promote area tourism assets at Christmas.

These included a Christmas tree forest on the library lawn, at schools and downtown; a presentation of “The Nutcracker” at Pickard Auditorium, an evening downtown businesses open house and a tour of decorated homes. Holiday Festival was first located at Morgan House and later moved to the Performing Arts Center when it was completed.

“In addition to offering local and area residents a unique holiday shopping area, Holiday House also offers professional artists and crafts people the opportunity to lower inventories and make Christmas money,” Blackwell said.

Kelly Pomeroy this year is offering her monogrammed Christmas ornaments, Auburn and Alabama logos and canvases hand-painted with crosses and scriptures. She began making these as a hobby 15 years ago, “just doodling,” she says, “and I love doing it. I especially enjoy Holiday Festival, browsing, shopping and buying the baked goods.”

She has taught in city, county and private schools for 18 years, presently the fourth grade at Morgan Academy and enjoys sharing her talent in the classroom where she uses it in her teaching.

“I encourage my students to use their creativity in stead of patterns,” she said.

Booth space is filled for the Monday opening at Holiday House, Blackwell said. Some of the items shoppers will find are: Killian Albritton’s monogrammed bottle holders and keychains; Sheila Averett (Faunsdale) offers her colorful hand-painted saws and tree balls; Joy Beers returns with special jewelry items; Edie Birch brings hand-painted holiday china; Donna Dirks of Newbern offers hand-turned pottery and spackle wear; Libba Guyton’s hand-designed and strung chunky bead jewelry; Sue Kozel’s fused glass jewelry; and Mary Lee Crews jars of jams, jellies and garden vegetables again will prove hard to resist.

Ann Capps makes handmade and embroidered dresses for young girls and boys. Her daughter, Candi Duncan, again will have her hand-painted ceramics and wooden ornaments there.

Each day different groups and individuals will offer baked goods and holiday food specialties to save hours in the kitchen.