Craft shows abound in Florida during the winter months.
You’ll find crafts and art of many types—ceramics, blown glass, jewelry, furniture, decorations, paintings, clothes, handbags—and created with varying levels of skill.
Small community shows often charge no fee. Larger juried shows—those that require artisans to apply for a space on the show floor—usually charge admission.
Here are a few that are coming up, some close to Cypress Trail RV Resort, and some a few hours away. Take your pick: There’s plenty to see, buy and treasure.
This is the first year under the new name, which was changed from Sarasota Craft Show, the title for nine years. The Sarasota Art & Handmade Home Show is billed as “The Suncoast’s Premiere Indoor Fine Art and Craft Show,” and that’s not difficult for promoter American Art Marketing to justify. Many items on display and for sale are of premium quality and tastefully crafted.
Sarasota is a national show, with artisans from multiple states showcasing their skills. It is a curated or juried show: Not just anybody can participate. Work must be submitted and reviewed for artisans and their work to be accepted. About 120 artisans participate yearly.
The show is open to the general public and charges admission. Attendees are homeowners, interior decorators, and collectors. Don’t let that frighten you; you’ll find desirable items on many price levels.
Exhibits appear outside and mostly inside the air-conditioned Robarts Arena, this year on the last day of November and the first two days of December.
Sarasota Art and Handmade Home Show
Venue: Robarts Arena
Address: 300 Ringling Blvd.
Sarasota, FL 34237
Dates: Nov. 30-Dec. 2, 2018
Hours: Friday, Nov. 30, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 1, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 2, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Cost per day: $12, adults; $11, age 65+; $6, students; free, age 10 and under; $13, full weekend pass
Directions: Robarts Arena in Sarasota is a 1¼ to a 1¾ hours’ drive from Cypress Trail RV Resort.
In its 26th year, the Downtown Dunedin Craft Festival is a juried show, accepting only applicants whose crafts meet its standards. All products are made in America, from a number of states.
More than 100 artisans display and sell ceramics, decorative and functional pottery, jewelry, clothing for all ages, hair accessories, paintings, woodworking and more. The craft show is an outdoor event. Displays line Main Street in downtown Dunedin, so there are plenty of places to dine.
Unlike many indoor venues, downtown Dunedin uses the craft show to attract visitors, so there is no admission fee.
In addition to having a vibrant business district, Dunedin has four miles of white-sand beaches that are highly rated.
Dunedin Downtown Craft Festival
Venue: 271 Main St.
Dates: Nov. 17 and 18, 2018
Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Directions: Downtown Dunedin is about 2 hours and 10 minutes from Cypress Trail RV Resort.
Christmas Made in the South, Jacksonville
If you’re interested in a craft show that has only Christmas items, consider Christmas Made in the South. This series includes a Thanksgiving weekend event in Jacksonville.
A juried show, Christmas Made in the South invites only crafters and artisans who live and work in Southern states. Juries differ by location, so the Jacksonville show is likely to have a Florida flavor. The Jacksonville show typically has more than 300 artisans.
Crafts, which must be handmade, include ceramics, jewelry, clothing, decorations, ornaments, cane furniture and paintings, among others. The Christmas Made in the South shows involve a lot of give-and-take between crafters and visitors, so they’re a good place to learn new techniques or consider a new craft.
Venue: Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center
Address: 1000 Water St.
Jacksonville, FL 32204
Dates: Nov. 23-25, 2018
Times: Friday, 9 a.m. -6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Directions: The Prime Osborn III Convention Center is just under a five-hour drive from Crossing Creeks RV Resort.
Photo credit: artfestival.com