The Sanford Pottery Festival draws thousands of people to its annual event in May. This festival has come to be known as not only the largest, but one of the fi nest exhibits of North Carolina pottery and will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2011. This year, organizers have expanded to hold another festival at the most wonderful time of the year — now! The First Annual Christmas Show and Wine Tasting Event is slated for Saturday, Dec. 4, and Sunday Dec. 5 at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center in Sanford. This new winter event will give shoppers the opportunity to buy pottery pieces to dress up the holiday table, and the show is designed to provide thousands of gift ideas in the $10-$20 range, and all are unique North Carolina products.

North Carolinians take great pride in the rich pottery tradition of our state. The show will include an excellent selection of “art pottery” pieces, such as Raku, but the majority of pottery featured will be pieces that are made to be used.

“The First Annual Christmas Show is a scaled down version of the Sanford Pottery Festival and will feature 45 oversized booths for potters. Booths will also include a small number of other traditional arts and crafts, but most will be potters,” according to organizer Don Hudson. “A wide range of price points will be offered, and there will be a large selection of less expensive pottery suitable for Christmas gifts.”

The First Annual Christmas Show will also have a wine-tasting event, featuring eight North Carolina wineries offering samples and wines available for purchase by the glass, bottle or case. For an additional $5, shoppers (age 21 and over) can take a break from pottery and enjoy the wine tasting, which will include European varieties of wines made right here in North Carolina. There will also be a large selection of wines made from Muscadine and Scuppernong grapes.

“These wines offer a different experience. Some will hate the difference. Many will love it,” explained Hudson. “What I know is that such wines have 10 times the antioxidants of regular wine, which is itself very heart healthy!”

For newcomers to the area that may not be familiar with Sanford, don’t let that hold you back. Sanford is an easy 34-mile drive from Fayetteville, right up Highway 87. The Wicker Center is located at 1801 Nash St. and features plenty of free parking. There’s really no excuse not to venture up to Sanford and partake in the First Annual Christmas Show. Anyone who shows a military ID, retired or active duty, will get into the festival for free, with one adult guest. Children under 16 are free anyway, so this is a very family friendly event.

The Sanford Pottery Festival’s First Annual Christmas Show will be held Saturday, Dec. 4 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sunday, Dec. 5, from noon to 5 p.m. Admission to the pottery festival is $5, or $10 for both the pottery festival and wine-tasting event. For more information, visit

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