A record 226 Pokagon and local community members spent a Saturday at the Dowagiac Middle School for holiday shopping and crafts at the annual Gwikwé’amen Holly Fair & Art Extravaganza.
Families crafted Christmas tree cones, ornaments, reindeer food, and grinch slime. A special machine also allowed attendees to get their photo taken, then turn that photo into a 3D etched cube. Santa even paid a visit.
Native artists set up booths to display and sell their works, and a number of the vendors experienced record-breaking sales. There was free gift wrapping available so shoppers could put their purchases under their trees as soon as they got home.
In 2015, 147 people attended the Holly Fair, then 140 in 2016, 127 in 2017, 154 in 2018—the first year Holly Fair collaborated with the Art Extravaganza—and 226 this year. The Education Department and Tribal Arts Review Committee plan to continue to collaborate on this event.