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One-stop holiday shop (copy)

The Baraboo Arts Banquet Hall was packed with Christmas shoppers for last year's Very Merry Holiday Fair. The event returns Friday and Saturday.

Shoppers won’t find vendors at the Very Merry Holiday Fair. This event is for artisans.

The 11th annual event returns Friday and Saturday to Baraboo Arts Banquet Hall. The festive fair features 60 authors, potters, bakers, jewelers, fiber artists, cheesemakers, glass artists and candymakers.

“Fair No. 11 will have new faces with exciting gift choices,” said organizer Char ter Beest-Kudla.

The fair opens at noon Friday. It will include drawings, a wine tasting by Baraboo Bluff Winery, and snacks available for purchase at the Very Merry Café. The first 500 patrons each day get free shopping bags.

But the main attraction will be art, crafts, books and other unique creations designed to entice holiday shoppers. Artisans will tell shoppers how each piece is created. Shoppers can support the local Boys & Girls Club by buying the “mini Picassos” they’ve created in collaboration with metalsmith Frank Kudla.

The event has grown to fill all three rooms at Baraboo Arts.

“The Very Merry Holiday Fair is the friendliest show I’ve ever been to,” said Reedsburg writer Mimi Wuest. “Small gifts that celebrate love and friendship are in keeping with the true meaning of these holidays.”

The fair is just part of a full slate of downtown holiday happenings that include horse-drawn wagon rides, performances by carolers and visits with Santa Claus.

“Come see Baraboo, Wisconsin on this busy and festive weekend. It will be memorable,” said ter Beest-Kudla, organizer of the event and owner of Helen’s Daughters Studio. “You’re invited: Join us for our Very Merry holiday celebration.”

Follow Ben Bromley on Twitter @ben_bromley