The QCCA Expo Center in Rock Island, Illinois, welcomed the Annual Quad City Christmas Arts & Crafts Fair on November 27, 28, and 29, 2015.
According to Conrad Enterprises, the company who puts on the event, they estimated 10,500 to attend throughout the weekend. Their website boasts over 200 different exhibitors comprised of “85% country crafts and 15% fine arts”, all hand made wares.
There were also plenty of delicious holiday treats, from coffee cakes to fudge, to candied apples to popcorn. The air was intoxicating with the scent of cinnamon roasted almonds, a bag of which I purchased because they smelled so good.
It was the ‘fine arts part’ of the event that I found the most interesting. There were live demonstrations of different trades men and woman all throughout the fair. The gentleman operating his spinning wheel mesmerized me, as did the woodworking women of Marie’s Wooden creations. I admired their dedication to their art despite how meticulous or time-consuming.
It was not your stereotypical holiday craft fair; there was quite the variety of attractions offered for all in attendance. It is a family-friendly event, so there were toys and children’s clothes a plenty. There were also decorations for your lawn or home, and cool creations I didn’t even know existed, like the glass-blown beer bottles made by Jonathon Gartland, a glass artist from Peoria, Illinois.
I had a gentleman, Dan Ford, of Water’s EDDGe, Inc., in Orion, Illinois, make me an ornate fishing lure that is guaranteed to catch me a large bass.
I enjoyed myself much more than I expected to and plan on making it an annual tradition. I was impressed with the variety of different things being offered and attractions provided for everyone there. It was a great way to shop local for the holidays and be able to meet many different artists all at once. Check out the website here or the Facebook page to keep connected until next year.