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Celebrate holidays in Paonia style this weekend

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Photo by Tamie Meck Free hayrides through downtown this Saturday are among the many activities happening this weekend in Paonia as part of the Paonia Chamber's holiday festivities. Let Chip and Dale take you from Lizzy's Market to the Paonia Library for t

Open houses, trunk shows and soirees, a puppet show and a concert in a wine cellar are on the long list of events to enjoy this weekend during the Paonia Holiday Festivities. Sponsored by the Paonia Chamber of Commerce, more than a dozen area businesses will kick off the holiday season with specials, drawings, food and drink, music, and fun for all ages.

The Paonia Public Library hosts its annual holiday book sale from 1-4 p.m. Friday, and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. Across the street at Berg Harvest, enjoy holiday shopping and free samples from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Grand Avenue will be bustling with activity. Stop in at Second Story Studios above the Blue Sage from noon to 8 p.m. Friday and all day Saturday for a holiday boutique; visit the holiday photo booth and hot cocoa bar from 3-5 p.m. Friday at First Colorado National Bank; enjoy ladies night out from 6-8 p.m. Friday at Paonia Farm & Home; and experience Elsie Winne Edstrom's fused dichroic and art glass and jewelry at Refinery.

For music lovers, the North Forkestra will perform a chamber orchestra holiday concert at 7 p.m. Saturday at The Cirque. For a rare treat that happens only once a year, from 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, join the winemakers at Alfred Eames winery, 11931 4050 Road, for wine tasting, appetizers and music in the wine cellar.

For the kids, the Paonia Public Library will present the puppet show, "Twas The Night Before Christmas," at 10:45 and 11:30 a.m. Saturday. Free hayrides will run from Lizzy's Market between 10:15 a.m. and 12:45 p.m., with a special stop at the library. Kids can make gingerbread houses from kits between noon and 4 p.m., at Paonia Town Hall, courtesy of Paonia Elementary School. Also at Town Hall, Santa Claus will make his appearance from 12:30-2:30 p.m. Saturday.

Works by 15 North Fork area artists will be featured at the 26th annual Holiday Art Fair from 3-8 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday at the Blue Sage Center for the Arts. The North Fork Valley Creative Coalition has been handed organization of the popular juried event. Due to more applications than they had room, a handful of artists were referred to other holiday events happening in November and December at Crawford, Hotchkiss and Paonia, said coalition board president Susie Kaldis Lowe.

Clay artist Tara Miller has been a part of the event since it began in 1992 and suggested the coalition take the helm. She and husband Sam Brown sell stoneware pottery and textiles from Taquile Island in Peru. "It's a good, quality show," said Miller.

Photographer Celia Roberts came up with the idea for an all-artists show in 1992. The show has been artist-run ever since, and has had several organizers over the years, said Miller. In the early years she, Miller and Patricia Weller were the main organizers. Roberts passed away last January, and Weller is no longer able to participate.

"I'm happy to see the coalition take over and believe that because they are a creative coalition, they'll attract more high-quality artists in the coming years," said Miller. "It needs to be run by artists." A list of selected artists is available at northforkcreative.org/holiday-art-fair/.

For a complete list of events, visit paoniachamber.com/paonia-holiday-festivities/

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