Artists, food vendors celebrate Sustainable Midlands Holiday

By Karamie Sullivan

Holiday shoppers came out to 701 Whaley Tuesday night to check out dozens of local artists while getting some tasty bites from local food vendors at the 10th annual Sustainable Holiday Celebration. The event is hosted by Sustainable Midlands, and showcases artists who all have some type of sustainability in their products, along with food vendors who use local produce and meat.

Sustainable Holiday Celebration Event Coordinator Helen Austin said she was pleased with the vendors that meet the qualifications to present at the event.

They all have to be local and produce here or have materials that are sustainable, we vet them and make sure,” she said. There were six different food vendors present, including Cantina 76 and Manchester Farms. All food was donated for the event. There was also live music and wine to enjoy while deciding on what to buy. The event was from 4:30 to 8:30, and according to Austin, it was predicted that about 1000 people attended the show.

The Sustainable Holiday Celebration included a wide variety of artists, showcasing anything from blankets and scarves to refurbished lamps, and even handmade pillows.

Some vendors had participated in the event for years, but for Forest Acres artist Jessica Hawthorne, it was a first. Hawthorne owns Driver 8 Studio, where she produces jewelry from stones she finds at different rivers across the state. She said the experience has allowed her to discover that there are different types of rocks at each river.

Every river is a little different, you can get quartz and agate in one stream, whereas a different consistency of stone would be in a sandier stream” she said. After she collects the rocks, she sands them down, or tumbles them, to make them smooth. She said the response so far has been positive, and she loves that her product is specific to the South.

Photos by Karamie Sullivan-