Wednesday, December 10, 2008

'Tis the season to delight in holiday fun

Join in on food, shopping and celebrating

Express Staff Writer

Dick Couch plays the flute at the Croney Cove European Christmas Market, which is a winter wonderland of gifts and unique items. Photo by Willy Cook

Despite the lack of snow and many people's need to tighten their pocket books, enjoying the holiday season and community can still be had without breaking the bank. This weekend, holiday markets and events around the Wood River Valley will whet the appetite and offer some holiday cheer.

For the third year, the Croney Cove European Market in Warm Springs offers unique gift giving ideas with a variety of European goods and wears collected by Lisa Vierling on her travels abroad. Find beautiful glassware, ornaments, dishes and much more. In addition, several local artisans, including jewelers, clothiers and knitters, will have many of their items for sale.

Proceeds from the market will benefit Ketchum's sister city, Tegernsee, Germany. The market is located on Vierling's property eight miles past Warm Springs base area before the Frenchman's Bend hot springs. It will be held on Saturday, Dec. 13, Sunday, Dec. 14, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. There is a $5 donation at the door, which is also a raffle entry. For details, call 726-2683.

In Ketchum, the Boulder Mountain Clayworks is having a Christmas Show and Sale on Friday, Dec. 12, from 5-7 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 13, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. featuring handmade holiday gifts by local potters. On Friday enjoy a wine-and-cheese reception while shopping.

"We will have affordable handmade gifts," said Boulder Mountain Clayworks Executive Director Susan Ward. "We will have lots of platters and useful gifts."

Many of the artists will be in attendance to help shoppers and attendees. Ward said the artists are members and studio potters, including several young potters.

"This is a community resource," Ward said. "We are a nonprofit and people are invited to take advantage of this facility."

For details, call 726-4484.

In these rough economic times, giving a yule log might be the perfect gift this holiday season. The Sawtooth Botanical Garden, south of Ketchum off state Highway 75, is hosting a yule log workshop led by Jerri Davis on Friday, Dec. 12, from 2-5 p.m. Participants will decorate their own log and take with them a personalized gift to give to a loved one. Tips on using firewood and ash as soil builders will also be provided during the class. The workshop is $10 for members and $12 for non-members. For details, call 726-9358.

After a day of shopping, creating or viewing, head to the Knob Hill Inn on Friday, Dec. 12, for Tapas Nights from 5-7 p.m. For $10, eat all the small-plate delicacies you can and pay for wine by the glass or bottle from the Knob Hill Inn's extensive wine list.

"It will be in the lobby and dinner seating is at 7 p.m." said Knob Hill Inn Chef Michael Zentner. "Everything is fresh and from scratch. I do as much local as I can, and I am still getting produce from the farmers, which is a blessing of (the weather's) being so warm."

Sup on garlic shrimp, freshly made blue cheese and vintage cheese crackers as well as tater tots. Tapas Nights will continue to Friday, Dec. 19, and possibly January and February. For details, call 726-8010.

In celebration of a global holiday season, the Wood River Community YMCA will host a multicultural holiday party on Saturday, Dec. 13, from 4-6 p.m. The party will celebrate how cultures from around the world celebrate Christmas. The party is free and open to all including families and children. For details, call 727-9622.

Finally end the weekend with champagne tasting at the Ketchum Grill. The event will feature Grower Champagne presented by the Boise Co-op, so try some bubbly and enjoy and learn about a favorite holiday spirit starting at 2 p.m. Sunday. The tasting is $25. For details, call (208) 472-4519.

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