Craft fair at Carson Mall a bit of ‘normalcy’ in COVID season |

Craft fair at Carson Mall a bit of ‘normalcy’ in COVID season

By Jessica Garcia

Carson City’s annual craft fair is taking place in the Carson Mall with about 25 vendors offering shoppers a chance to browse for their seasonal wares.

The event that has going on about 25 years has absorbed at least a few vendors from the Carson High School craft fair that had to be canceled in November, according to former Carson City School District teacher Cathy Barbie. Kiosks are set up in the middle of the mall and are appropriately distanced and following guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Barbie said. Crafters who are working the kiosks are wearing masks and following sanitization protocols.

“The CHS holiday fair was canceled, and almost 100% of the vendors said keep our money, we’re anxious to come back next year,” Barbie said.

Barbie said she also is sitting with some friends at her own kiosk.

Most other fairs in the region had been canceled in Reno, Minden and Gardnerville, with one this summer in Virginia City that took place, so Barbie said it seemed important to try to keep this one going.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Sunday and vendors are set up inside storefronts such as See’s Candy, Ogres-Holmes Pottery and the Wild Horse Gallery.

Magical Moments Photography owner and promotions director Chelsea Lavender, working in conjunction with Barbie at the mall, said they welcome more kiosks if other crafters still wish to join, adding she is using her own precautions such as microbands and plastic bags for sanitary purposes.

“We have new stuff coming in daily now, so if someone is still looking, I can give them a space,” she said.

She also is offering photos with Santa Claus by appointment and said her staff provides a strict sanitization of the space and equipment in between families who arrive.

All in all, Lavender said, it’s been a slower but better year so far in terms of the turnout for families.

“People wanted to get out and do stuff,” she said. “They’re sick and tired of being at home.”

She also offers curbside services for photos for those who are not comfortable physically coming inside and says she will accept photos from anyone who would like to send them to her for photos with Santa to put into slides.

Barbie said she’s been excited to see the fair continue again this year.

“Every little bit of hope that people get or normalcy is a good thing,” she said.