Visitors to Kinzua Bridge State Park on Dec. 1 will be able to find some Pennsylvania-made gifts for their loved ones for Christmas.

The PA Wilds Conservation Shop, located in the park’s visitors center, will be the site of Holiday in the Wilds, showcasing juried artisans from the region, said Libby Bloomquist, manager of the gift shop.

The event will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will include food from Little Sister’s Big Rig and handcrafted items from eight vendors: Alpaca Creations, Rich Valley Apiary, Petal, Peggy Hauser, Jabebo, Palace Apiary, Blackberry and Sage Market and Straub Brewery Inc.

The artisans are members of the The Wilds Cooperative of PA.

The event is free and open to the public.

The event is a chance for anyone “wanting to be able to do some holiday shopping locally and not have to worry about traveling, long lines or the hustle and bustle of malls and bigger box stores,” said Bloomquist.

She added that shoppers will be able to find Christmas gifts that are not “cookie cutter,” and explained, “Here, you’re going to come and you’re going to find unique items.”

Unlike other vendor fairs at the park, this one won’t leave visitors exposed to the elements.

“We don’t really have to worry about the weather because we’ll be inside.” said Bloomquist.

For those who want to venture out, the bridge is open year-round — and it’s as awe-inspiring a site as ever.

“It’s beautiful with the snow. It’s so pretty,” she said. “It definitely is a winter wonderland.”

Bloomquist encouraged people to come see the bridge in the wintertime and “explore the park in a way they haven’t seen it before.”

Park staff keep the the bridge cleared off for visitors, too.

“The maintenance team does an amazing job,” she said, explaining that the team snow blows the sidewalks and the bridge to keep visitors safe.

Bloomquist described the vendors that would be taking part.

Little Sister’s Big Rig will be there with coffee, cocoa, baked goods and soups. Bloomquist suggested visitors could eat lunch there, or even take something on the road to eat later.

Alpaca Creations has knit apparel made from alpaca yarn such as mittens, gloves, scarves and other cold weather apparel.

Rich Valley Apiary of Emporium will offer handcrafted soaps, lotions, candles and honey made with the help of their treatment-free bees.

Amanda Lewis’s company, Petal, out of Clarion, uses cold porcelain to make jewelry and home decor.

Peggy Hauser of Kane makes one-of-a-kind jewelry out of natural stone, seed beads and other natural items.

Kevin and Mary Abbott, owners of Jabebo in Bellefonte, use post-consumer paperboard to create nature-inspired jewelry.

The Smith Family of Palace Apiary of Emporium offers treatment-free bee, award-winning honey.

Blackberry and Sage Market has organic, eco-friendly reusable products for the body and home.

Straub Brewery Inc. will offer collectibles and other apparel and locally made items.

The center will be closed on Sundays during the winter starting this weekend. Winter hours at the center will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and at the gift shop, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

 

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