Now in its 18th season, the annual Holiday mART opens today to the public for a month of holiday shopping and events.
A Champagne & Shopping preview party took place Saturday night at Sweetwater Center for the Arts, drawing a large crowd in the process.
Michelle Peters, executive director, said the turnout was a little more than expected with 120 people attending the exclusive kickoff party. The evening gave guests a first glimpse and the chance to buy from a wide assortment of items crafted by artists and vendors. Shoppers browsed items and lined up to make purchases.
"I'm very pleased by the turnout, too," said Pete Schlicht, financial advisor and associate vice president, "and we seem to have a lot of shoppers," he added.
The sale opens today from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is free. The community room, gallery and lobby have been transformed into a festive shopping environment.
Peters said there are 97 participating artists this year, 22 of whom are new to Holiday mART. She said the artists are local, regional and national offering a wide selection of jewelry, ceramics, glassware, fiber arts, ornaments and hostess gifts.
"We're ecstatic at the turnout we've had for the champagne preview party. We hope that this continues throughout the Holiday mART and people come check us out and see all the wonderful, unique artwork we have available to either treat themselves or do their Christmas shopping for others.
Holiday mART runs today, Nov. 25 through Dec. 2. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Sweetwater will also present the following special events in conjunction with Holiday mART:
Holiday mART Happy Hour
5 to 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 26 - Thursday, Nov. 29
Join us for our popular Holiday mART Happy Hour! Come relax after work and enjoy complimentary refreshments and light hors d'oeuvres while you shop for one-of-a-kind handmade gifts. This event is free.
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29
*2 Seatings: 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Take a break from shopping and the hectic holiday bustle to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Grab a friend and let the Holiday mART volunteers pamper you with a relaxing gourmet, three-course lunch. Refuel, continue shopping and return to the holiday hurry revitalized. Cost is $15 per person and reservations are recommended.
Let the Men Cook! during Sewickley's Light Up Night
5 to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30
*Shopping is extended until 10 p.m.
Ladies can shop all they want and leave the cooking to the men. Celebrate the festive atmosphere in the Village, and stop by Sweetwater to warm up with the delicious, three-course meal prepared by the all-male volunteer-turned-gourmet chef team. Complimentary beverages provided. Cost is $15 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. Tickets available at door only.