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Event will feature handmade items and will run for three weekends beginning Dec. 4 and 5.

PMG PHOTO: SCOTT KEITH - Heather Karrick assists visitors at the South Columbia County Chamber of CommerceArea artisans and crafters are invited to participate in a Holiday Gift Shop, taking place for three weekends, beginning Dec. 4 and 5.

The South Columbia County Chamber of Commerce in St. Helens will host the event at the chamber office, located at 2194 Columbia Blvd.

It's a chance for vendors to show off their locally-made and sourced giftable items. Up to eight different vendors will participate each weekend.

"The main intention is trying to offer something for our local creators and vendors who usually utilize big conventions, or their large sales, to sell their homemade locally-crafted goods," said Dana Lathrope, a board member with the chamber.

Lathrope continued, "2020 hasn't offered them the opportunity to do that. We're just trying to find a way that we can keep it small, local and COVID-safe, but still allow them to sell their wares and goods to local people just before the holidays."

At press time, a glass blower had signed up as well as people who have created hand-crafted signs and tumblers.

"It's a quick … walk-through market, or vendor gift shop," Lathrope said. "Masks are required, of course." There will be a limit to the number of people in the shop at a given time, to respect COVID protocols.

"We have some great creators around the area and I would love to get some involved," said Lathrope. "Our priority would be toward people who craft and create, or have a small business, perhaps they don't have a brick-and-mortar location at this time."

Lathrope sees a great deal of creativity in Columbia County.

"I love the creative work here in St. Helens and Columbia County," Lathrope said. "I know many painters, crafters and sculptors." She noted there were a lot of locally created items at the downtown Halloween Town event in October.

In addition to getting the word out about the Gift Shop, Lathrope keeps busy at the chamber.

"It's been a real pleasure of mine to work with the chamber of commerce," Lathrope said, noting that 2020 has been "quite the journey."

If the show goes well, "It's something I would love to continue to do more, moving forward."

More information about the event can be found by contacting the South Columbia County Chamber of Commerce at sccchamber.org.


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