Festival By The Sea

I have been living in a coastal Carolina town for nine years now and I love my little beach town filled with bright colored beach homes, local farmers markets, fun family events, gorgeous scenery and beachy restaurants. Living here is like being on a vacation high every weekend. What I did not realize is that other nearby towns had all this and more. Mental note: Need to explore my own area more.

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Farmers Market Finds visited the town of Holden Beach, NC to attend their annual Festival by the Sea, a two-day event of nonstop fun and festivities that takes place on the last weekend in October. The festival kicks off with a big parade that travels down the Holden causeway on Saturday morning. This is the only time they allow pedestrians to walk on the bridge, which provides a great opportunity to take in the amazing views.

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On the other side of the bridge, I was thrilled to find over 170 artists and crafters selling their wares, including Robin from YouMeUsDesigns and Jennifer from Coastal Tides Candle & Soap Co.  I love running into Farmers Market Finds vendors!  A warm fall day, live music playing in the background and friendly vendors created the perfect setting to get some Christmas shopping done.IMG_3508

There was a nice range of products including pottery, birdhouses, candles, soaps and handmade jewelry, as well as some unique items like hand-forged oyster knives from Carolina Shuckers.  This is a kitchen staple for oyster lovers and those of us who make our home by the sea.  Creators Kirk Davis and Michael Waller have a passion for art, food and the rich North Carolina coastal heritage which they use to fuel the creation of these custom, hand-forged oyster knives. These timeless treasures  are meant to be handed down for future generations to enjoy.IMG_3509

Moving along we came across The Way We Word. An understatement at best, I loved their wit and sarcasm and quickly purchased a dishtowel for my sister that matches her sarcastic humor!

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As I continued on, I came upon Canine Angels, an organization that rescues dogs and trains them  to serve our disabled veterans and first responders in the Carolinas. These dogs are so well trained it was as if they were trained by my daughter. I say this because as soon as I walked up with my donation in hand, the dogs greet you, then take the money from your hand and put it in their own donation buckets!  It was so much fun to watch that the donations just kept coming.IMG_3512

Keeping the “cute” coming, I loved the adorable handcrafted stuffed toys and hand-smocked  children’s clothing I found at Kiddie Cuddlies. Smocked clothing is a handcraft that is hard to come by and can be very expensive at retail. Kiddie Cuddies had so many designs and the quality was amazing. Her prices are well below what you would expect to pay for these beautiful smocked outfits. Ah the beauty of handmade!

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Another great holiday find was Tra-Lia Turnings, where artist Sonny explained the art of his handcrafted ornaments. His process includes finding rare shells and wood, then allowing the wood to begin to decay. The point at which he shared, “the magic takes place.” He then proceeds to hollow out the wood, beautifully restoring it to carve the spindles and create these stunning ornaments. My favorites were the tiger wood and sea biscuits.IMG_3515

Another unique find was Dimensional Greetings the Art of Astonishment. Amaze your friends and family with these 3D greeting cards that pop alive when you open them.NE+1055

Next on the list was Tile Art Emporium where artist Theresa Ellis puts her art on tiles that can be hung indoors or out, used as trivets or home décor.  I would love to incorporate them into a back splash or bathroom tile remodel for a truly custom feature.11834860_1475198346130084_6993398944672295294_o

I would love to share more with you but then I might giveaway secret surprises that I crossed of my gift giving list. So take my word that Holden Beach has it all, beautiful location, views, family beaches and the amazing NC Festival by the Sea.   Voted “One of the best family beaches,”  I encourage you to put Holden Beach on your bucket list!  See you next time at the market!

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