Annual event moved outside at Atascadero Lake Park

ATASCADERO — It was hard to see the smiles under the face masks, but they were there and there was a sparkle in peoples’ eyes as they walked from vendor to vendor during the 15th Annual Holiday Boutique on Saturday, Nov. 14.

People took advantage of the picture-perfect autumn day to support the 38 artisan crafters set up from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Atascadero Lake Park, 9305 Pismo Ave., Atascadero. Nearly all of the booths were under portable canopies. Parking was scarce at both the upper and lower lots around Lake Park for the one-day-only craft show.

Several people remarked how delighted they were to have the Holiday Boutique.

“I’m so glad this did not get canceled,” a woman said. “I always find great gifts.”

Usually, the Holiday Boutique is inside the Pavilion on the Lake that sits at the top of the Lake Park and features stunning views of Atascadero Lake. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic guidelines, the City of Atascadero moved it outside and required attendees to wear face masks and to social distance.

There was plenty of room between the booths. Lines were painted on the ground six feet apart to help people with social distancing. The majority of people followed the COVID-19 guidelines.

For many of the vendors, this was their first craft show of the year. Everything available for purchase at the Holiday Boutique had to be handmade. It’s what makes the craft show unique.

The hand-knitted and crocheted beanies for adults and children at the Handcrafted Accents booth drew much attention from people. Owner Carol Lopez of Atascadero was pleased.

“In general, it has been a beautiful day. Lots of people are out,” Lopez said. “It’s been really fun. It’s wonderful because, with COVID, this has been the only event that I have been able to do this year. I’m thrilled to be here and so glad the City of Atascadero and all the powers that be made this happen. We are very appreciative.”

Lopez said she usually did 10 to 12 events per year. For more information on Handcrafted Accents, visit online www.handcraftedaccents.com.

“Events are my biggest thing, but I haven’t been able to do them this year. So, this is wonderful,” Lopez said, adding that people were buying. “People have been supportive, which is great.”

For Montse Cross, owner of Cookie Momo, in Atascadero, the Holiday Boutique was a great way to market her hand-crafted cookie kits. Each kit comes with 12 thick-cut sugar cookies in different shapes, at least three bags of frosting and assorted sprinkles. She currently offers eight kits — Fall Bounty, Thanksgiving, Woodland Critters, Classic Christmas, Winter Wonderland, Santa, Gingerbread and Happy Birthday. For more information, call Montse at 805-748-0568.

With nearly all of the usual events canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, most vendors shifted to selling at farmers’ markets and out of their homes.

The Dan Shattuck Recycled Art booth featured pieces made from a little of everything. Silverware was transformed into an ornate rose or a shimmering long-legged spider. Brass pots and pans became ants.

This was Shattuck’s second event of the year. He’s been a vendor at the Holiday Boutique for 10 years. With shows being canceled, he set up a kiosk in the driveway of his Los Osos home. For more information, visit www.danshattuckart.com.

“It’s fantastic. No complaints. We’ve got great weather. People are out,” Shattuck said of the Holiday Boutique. “This is my second show, and it looks like my third show is going to get canceled.”

Getting through this together, Atascadero