CARLISLE — On Saturday, Midstate gift-seekers can discover handmade artisan crafts for those challenging friends and family members on their holiday lists.
The Market of Curiosities, produced by Sarah Taby and her husband, David Bender, will feature live music, a disc jockey, and 54 booths selling crafts and foods at The Carlisle Ribbon Mill, 320 E. Louther St.
“Carlisle is a really cool place and I think that we needed something to happen that’s just as cool as something that might happen in New York,” Taby joked. “My goal was to kind of bring in that same kind of vendor ... it’s not something you go into, you tour the tables and you leave. It’s like you come and you plan to spend some time there because there’s a lot of fun stuff going on.”
Taby, co-owner of Miss Ruth’s Time Bomb, a vintage clothing and accessories store in Carlisle, has been involved in events and vending since her mother brought her to events as a teenager. So, when she had a few minutes to spare, Taby decided to start planning a new kind of event for Carlisle.
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She said the hope is that this event is a little bit like what is found in New York and other big cities. Taby also named the event the Market of Curiosities because she has a bit of an obsession with sideshows.
“I have a kind of love of sideshow and circus things, and so this Market of Curiosities kind of made me feel it was sideshow-ey and I just have a love affair with that,” Taby said. “The vendors are really interesting and unique.”
On the long list of vendors is a woman who makes items out of animal bones she finds or that people send to her. She creates jewelry and she puts Swarovski crystals in the pieces, Taby said. There also will be a handful of breweries sampling their beers, including Aldus Brewing, Big Hill Ciderworks, Market Cross Pub and Wolf Brewing Company. Alibis Eatery and Spirits will host a cash bar.
In one room of the market a disc jockey will be spinning vinyl records while in the other room a number of bands will perform throughout the day. A couple of Carlisle Coffee House alumni will be performing first followed by other musical acts including Rivers, and Mark Focazio and Mike Dempsey.
Even though the event hasn’t happened yet, Taby said she has reserved the Ribbon Mill for the first Saturday in December 2015 because she wants to make it an annual market. While the event is full for this year, Taby said vendors haven’t stopped contacting her about taking part in the inaugural Market of Curiosities.
Taby said that next year it will be more difficult to decide which vendors to include. She said she might build a committee to have help with the process.
She said some vendors come from as far as West Virginia, though many are from the Baltimore, Chambersburg and Harrisburg areas. Part of the proceeds go toward a scholarship in Taby’s former high school in Shamokin.
A big selling point for Taby on the vendors she chose was the affordability for customers. She said it can be difficult for some people to afford artisan crafts around the holidays, and the median price she wanted was around $20.
Taby said the Market of Curiosities is family-friendly, providing products for those difficult-to-shop-for individuals on gift lists.
“You’re going to see something you don’t normally see in a church basement craft show, not that there’s not great stuff there, it’s just different,” she said. “It’s fun to shop locally and be able to give people a gift that they’re going to know didn’t come from the mall and that they can’t find somewhere else.”