Holiday shoppers attending the 30th annual Christmas Fantasy arts & crafts fair at the Roswell Convention Center visit Jocay Crystals booth and its array of nightlights, Friday. Mark Wilson Photo
Makers of all kinds plied their wares Friday and Saturday during the 30th annual Christmas Fantasy arts and crafts fair at the Roswell Convention and Civic Center.
This year, the event had as many as 50 vendors from small, independent businesses throughout New Mexico, as well as west Texas and beyond, said Earl Lusk of Pecos Valley Chile Company. He and his wife, Betty, organized the event.
The show featured many unique items of all varieties, from jewelry, crafts, quilts and foods. “It’s like a temporary shopping mall,” Earl said.
The Old Windmill Dairy was new to the show this year. The farm, based in Estancia, is managed by brothers Michael and Edward Lobaugh and produces specialty food items featuring cow and goat milk.
The booth handed out tasting samples of award-winning goat cheese spread, available in 20 different flavors, to the delight of attendees.
“I think people seek it out because the flavor profile is different,” said Edward.
The milk that goats produce is naturally homogenized, he said, has a stronger taste and contains less allergens than that from cows.
Everything at the business is handmade, from the products to the packaging. “It helps us employ more people and keep the economy going,” Edward said.
However, the company sees less revenue during the winter months due to the lack of shows and farmers markets.
Shows such as Christmas Fantasy are a livelihood for the artists involved, said Earl. “For some, (these shows are) their sole source of income,” he said and proceeds from the event go directly to the artists.
“This is their make-it-or-break-it time,” Betty said. But overall, it’s a happy event, she said, because it gives many the chance to catch up with those they haven’t seen in a while.
Dina Ortega has participated in the show for at least 15 years. For the last couple of years, she has served as the vendor of turquoise jewelry and all natural hand and body product line Big Kahuna Native Naturals.
“It’s a lot of fun,” she said of the event. “I get to see and develop relationships with people over the years.”
Lorraine Crane has come to the event for at least a decade as a customer. Friday evening, she came with her mother, sister and niece in search of Christmas gifts, such as jewelry and sports-related memorabilia.
“We’ve already found a few things, so we’re happy,” she said. “We’ve just got started so we may find some more stuff before we leave.”
The event also featured a silent auction benefiting St. Peter Good Samaritan program featuring products donated by vendors.