As the holiday season approaches, country fairs showcasing handmade work are evolving into gift markets. And that's the case this weekend, with the exception of New Echota Heritage Day, which celebrates Cherokee culture, and WTCI's annual Family Day.
New Echota is a heritage festival that is fun, as well as educational, for children who may have never seen demonstrations in the dying arts of weaving, making blowguns or spinning wool. Visitors will see a newspaper printed both in Cherokee and English, a Cherokee homestead, a smokehouse and they can hear storyteller Sonny Ledford.
The works of bowl carver Bill Radford, moccasin maker Sharlene Brooks, herbalist Cindy Quay and basket weaver Dan Gilliland Bright will be displayed. Cindy Steel Tucker will demonstrate old-style knitting; Bear Brooks making bows and blowguns.
It's a day-trip back into the 19th century.
» Head up I-24 to catch Nashville's big Christmas Village and the Foothills Christmas Arts and Crafts Festival in Manchester, Tenn., on the way.
Christmas Village has more than 200 vendors with handmade wares and manufactured gift items for sale. They're spread out through six buildings at the old Tennessee Fairgrounds site, so wear comfortable shoes because it's a lot of walking.
» The annual Gingerbread Shoppe opens in Christ United Methodist Church on Friday and Saturday. This show of handmade work is one year shy of its 30th anniversary since its founding by three East Brainerd homemakers.
Organizer Red Dueker says there will be more than 30 crafters on-site along with a sale of baked goods and a chili dinner.
Contact Susan Pierce at email@example.com or 423-757-6284.
› Chatty Holiday Market: The Peyton inside Stratton Hall, 3146 Broad St., noon-6 p.m. Sunday, $2; more than 40 makers and vintage dealers selling. www.facebook.com/events/964065347061886/
› Christmas Village: Tennessee State Fairgrounds, 500 Wedgewood Ave., Nashville, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday (all times Central), $10; more than 250 booths of crafts and gifts spread through six buildings. www.christmasvillage.org.
› Foothills Christmas Arts and Crafts Festival: Manchester-Coffee County Conference Center, 111 Hospitality Blvd., Exit 4 off Interstate 24, Manchester, Tenn., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. CST Friday and Saturday, free; sponsored by Foothills Craft Guild. 931-728-9236.
› Gingerbread Shoppe: Christ United Methodist Church, 8645 East Brainerd Road, Chattanooga, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, free. 423-892-9363.
› New Echota Heritage Day: New Echota Cherokee Capital State Historic Site, 1211 Chatsworth Highway 225N, Calhoun, Ga., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, $5.50-$7. 706-624-1321.
› WTCI Family Day: WTCI, 7540 Bonnyshire Drive, 1-4 p.m. Sunday, free, family fun with games, face painting, photo-ops with Clifford the Big Red Dog, Curious George and other PBS Kids friends. www.wtciTVC.org.