It's not procrastination if you're waiting for the Atomic Holiday Bazaar to do your seasonal shopping. Held this year on Dec. 14 and 15 at the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium, the arts and crafts fair will feature approximately 230 vendors selling a wide variety of unique and hand-crafted goods. Among the bazaar's booths, you'll find original art, vintage curios, one of a kind accessories, distinct clothing, eclectic housewares, tasty homemade treats and much more. Part of the fun is never knowing what type of treasure you'll discover.

The Atomic Holiday Bazaar was initiated in 2006 by Adrien Lucas, who had relocated to the area from Los Angeles, where she had participated in independent “punk-rock” craft shows selling unique handbags she had fashioned. In Sarasota, Lucas found a number of craft-centric events, particularly around the holidays, but no specific venue for nontraditional makers such as herself. So she set out to establish one. The Atomic Holiday Bazaar began with the idea of creating a space for odd and unusual handicrafts that don't need "G-ratings," as she says, and the creative individuals who make them.

Lucas says it's been a pleasure to watch the bazaar grow organically. What started as a one-day event with 50 vendors recruited through MySpace has become a two-day celebration with hundreds of merchants from all over Florida. As the bazaar grew it spilled from the auditorium and now incorporates a street fair component and the art center next door. The event has evolved to be much more than an opportunity to shop for holiday gifts, but a place to find community and connect with like-minded creators.

Vendors, affectionately referred to as “misfit makers,” this year include returning favorites and some fresh faces. Back for another season are Cat Feet Designs and Recollections Jewelry, whose wearable art is made from a variety of unique textiles both new and upcycled, such as vintage curios, wayward buttons, lost toys or rescued ephemera. Newer to the scene is Crescent Creepers, whose colorful pop-culture inspired creations (think Stranger Things enamel pins) delight fans, vibrant art with anatomical inspiration by Savannah Magnolia and the sweet yet sassy goodies (T-shirts, votive candles, buttons, etc.) designed by Danny Brito. There's something for everyone at the bazaar, whether they made this year's nice or naughty list.

The Atomic Holiday Bazaar will take place Saturday, Dec. 14 and Sunday, Dec. 15 from noon – 5 p.m at the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium, 801 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Admission is $5 at the door.

 

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