AUGUSTA — For some people, it was about looking for holidays gifts, while others were just looking to buy something to support a local Maine business.

There was something for everybody Saturday at the Maine Made Crafts holiday fair at the Augusta Civic Center. Organizers said they expected several thousand people to attend.

Mark Watson, of Brunswick, made the drive up Interstate 295 with his grandmother, Anne, who was visiting from Florida. The two weren’t looking for anything in particular, but they did end up buying several different items, including some jelly and an alpaca hat.

“After a big day of eating with family and friends and avoiding the crowds on Black Friday, it was nice to get out with my grandma this afternoon,” Watson said. “She is getting up in years and enjoys seeing what people can make using their imaginations.”

One of the things that interested Watson’s grandmother was the craftsmanship of Luiza Brown and her husband Richard O’Brien, who own Kennebec River Glassworks in Gardiner.

Brown and O’Brien create and sell wine and other glass bottles that have been kiln-slumped for hours. The bottles are sometimes decorated with art and can be used as a serving tray, dishes or sushi kit.

The couple have three kilns at home and have been making these glass bottle pieces for about 10 years. Brown has always been an artist, but she was into paper and collages until she discovered the artistic side of glass.

“I think we’ll end up using this for cheese over the holidays,” Anne Watson said. “It’ll really be a great conversation starter with some of my friends in Florida, too.”

Mellori Worthen, of Mercer, was not expecting to sell all of the seven custom-crafted harps she had on display, but she said the craft fair was a good way to show people that they exist.

Worthen, a professional harpist and instructor, had harps ranging in size and price, with the most expensive model on sale for nearly $4,000.

“It’s a good place to be seen, and the little harps will go because parents and grandparents buy them as Christmas presents for the children,” Worthen said while watching two young children strum one of the smaller harps.

Marley Garrody, of Waterville, wasn’t planning on buying a harp, but she did take a few minutes to listen to some of the music being sold by entertainer John Tercyak and to browse some handmade clocks.

“The clocks look exquisite and can look great either standing or hanging on the wall,” Garrody said. “And the music is perfect for the holidays.”

Around 80 vendors took part in the 37th annual Thanksgiving Weekend Christmas in New England Arts & Craft Show, said a ticket taker. There were Christmas tree ornaments, jewelry, jellies, honey, spices, soaps, dog bandanas, mittens, gloves, hats, children’s clothing, pottery and art, among many other things on display and for sale.

“There’s just so much to see and there really is something for everybody,” Mark Watson said. “It’s great to support local businesses, great to get out and walk around a bit, and it’s great to see the creativity and spirit of so many of our fellow Mainers.”

Saturday was Small Business Saturday, an event started in 2010 by American Express to encourage consumers to spend money at small businesses. Many at the craft fair said they noticed the “Shop Small” and “Small Business Saturday” signage around the Augusta Civic Center and were happy to do their part.

“I stayed home yesterday on Black Friday because it isn’t the Best Buys and Wal-Marts that need our support, it’s our local mom-and-pop shops in Waterville, Augusta, Hallowell and across Maine,” said Tom Smith, of Augusta. “We need to do all we can to make sure our small businesses continue to stay open and thrive.”

The arts and crafts show continues from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $2 for adults, and children are free.

Jason Pafundi — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @jasonpafundiKJ

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