By Matthew Gundrum —
Snow has arrived and the holidays are fast approaching. For local shopping and a good time, come and celebrate the season at the Mabel Tainter’s 15th annual Fine Arts and Crafts Fair.
The Mabel Tainter typically hosts plays, musicals and concerts, though the center offers outreach programs as well. However one of the most popular events held by the Mabel Tainter is its yearly Fine Arts and Crafts Fair.
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Mabel Tainter’s renowned craft fair. “It takes place on all three levels in the Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts,” said the Building’s Executive Director, Amy Reise. “The facility was recently named one of 15 spectacular theaters in the world by CNN Travel. It’s a really special, unique, restored Victorian theater. We had a renovation in 2006 so it’s beautiful.”
The Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts is a 125-year-old historic building in downtown Menomonie. This structure was erected in 1889 to honor the life of Andrew Tainter’s early passing daughter. Tainter, a lumber baron, knew his daughter was fond of music and the arts so he and his wife commissioned the building in her memory. Since then, it has served as an architectural relic and a haven for the performing arts.
The fair itself is a bustling hive of activity. Nearly 40 vendors and craftspeople from all disciplines come to market their specialty goods. Pottery, jewelry, paintings and glass-blown art are just a sample of the mediums present here.
According to Reise, vendors offer edible options as well. “We also have some craftspeople who have barbeque sauce and food items as well,” Reise said. “Wheatfield organics is going to be here too. They do organic popcorn and coffee and these amazing raspberry sauces and things like that. There’s also a woman who does goat milk soap and goat cheese.”
The event is largely popular due to its placement in the year. “A lot of people love this event because they come and get all their Christmas shopping done,” Reise said. The interior of the facility will also be adorned with Victorian Christmas decorations as a seasonal touch.
But Mabel Tainter Special Events Manager Jennifer Joyce Rentmeester, sees the event as more than just a holiday craft fair. “The Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts provides this event to the community to encourage creativity, connection, culture and growth within the arts,” Rentmeester said. “Allowing visual and performing arts to thrive in such a spectacular theater is what brings art and community together. It’s a perfect event for all ages and visitors love to roam through such a magical piece of history!”
Don’t miss the chance to experience this historical building in all its splendor while supporting local artists at the same time. The best part? It’s free.
The Mabel Tainter 15th Annual Fine Arts and Crafts Fair is on Nov. 22 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The building is located downtown on 205 Main St. E.