ALTON - Celebrate Small Business Saturday by gathering with your friends and family in Downtown Alton at the Green Gift Bazaar. Alton Main Street is teaming up with the Sierra Club and the YWCA to continue the tradition of “going green” - don’t miss this special occasion to share the historic downtown shopping & dining experience with your loved ones this holiday season. 

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The 13th annual Green Gift Bazaar, featuring dozens of eco-artisans and green vendors, will be held on Saturday, November 28th, from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the YWCA of Alton, located at 304 E. 3rd St. in Alton. At the event shoppers will be able to shop local and keep their money “home for the holidays”. Why go through the hassle of Black Friday or risk impersonal customer service of Cyber Monday, when you can make this season’s gift giving a fun adventure by shopping with friendly local artists and independent businesses in the district instead?

There is no entry fee to shop at the Green Gift Bazaar, and holiday craft activities will be provided to keep kids entertained while their parents shop. From 3:00-4:00 children will be able to make a free pair of earrings, with materials donated by glass artist, Kerry Ellen. Live entertainment will be provided by multi-instrumentalist Nancy Lippincott. 

Below is a list of our earth-friendly vendors and some of the great gift ideas that they will be offering at the event:

The Smelly Gypsy - all natural handmade artisan herbal health care products including goat milk soaps, deodorants, lip balm, and organic beard oil. Using no artificial scents, colors or ingredients, many plants for coloring of the soaps are harvested from their property or from other small sustainable farms. Goat milk soap comes from the goats raised themselves using natural practices, and beeswax used comes from a local beekeeper.

Jabberwock Emporium - wire wrap tree necklaces and ornaments, jewelry, art and home Décor made from recovered defunct electrical cords, broken jewelry, Victorian photo album pages and more.

Tanya Fox & Sam Strack – repainted and repurposed decorative glass mason and dairy jars, wine glasses and mugs, which have been salvaged from old estates & resale stores.

Blair Lair Studios - offering a wide variety of handmade projects that often incorporate recycled and upcycled goods, including soap, ceramics, jewelry, knitted, crocheted, tie dye, Shabori, felted wearables, and home decor.

Gaia's Cure - Organic health care and beauty products including healing rubs, lotions & sprays, using essential oils made from plants. Helping you stay away from unnecessary additives and chemicals in everyday products!

Indian Sunshine - Handmade patchwork corduroy bags, paper bead jewelry, and jewelry made from reclaimed metal and china. Also, trendy bowls made from old records and other various found objects reworked into wearable, re-usable works of art.

Nueva Dia Alpacas - warm and comfortable alpaca wear including hats, gloves, scarves, and socks. Plus 100% alpaca yarn and raw alpaca fiber that can be hand spun or used for felting and craft projects. Alpaca fiber is eco-friendly because it is a natural & biodegradable, and does not require harsh chemicals to process/clean (where sheep's wool contains lanolin that has to be removed before spinning).

Kerry Ellen, Glass Artist – beautiful and affordable handmade fused glass jewelry, most items offered at a reduced rate of $10, $5, or $3 to clear out inventory.

Nocturnal/Diurnal - rescued & recycled books, containing captivating black and white ink drawings on the inside covers.

Fruitful Valley - Upcycled stuffed owls and cats made from old sweaters and buttons, purses made from sweaters and ties, fingerless gloves made from wool sweaters and knitted hats.

Jason Wood - Handmade collages and assemblages made with re-purposed wood and paper, using local photography featuring images of autumn in Alton.

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Tangible Treats - a collection of handcrafted housewares, gifts and accessories that turn household items that would have been discarded into something useful and beautiful for a second time. We make beautiful wooden bowls & boxes from trees that were naturally removed by storms, cutting boards from Corian scraps from construction jobs, holiday ornaments, upcycled glass candles, wooden pendants, scarves, key chains and hand-turned pens.

Uniquk gifts & Handicrafts - African Art made using natural or recycled materials.

Suburban Chic Boutique - specializing in recycled and upcycled vintage jewelry pieces, much of which is purchased from thrift shops like Goodwill (which helps our communities) and various estate shops and yard sales. Items that are broken or discarded become treasures!

Cope's Country Soaps - provides handmade, natural soaps and beauty products. We strive to provide products that delight the senses and have a low impact on the environment. All of our products are packaged in low impact, recyclable or biodegradable packaging. We use sustainably harvested ingredients and local ingredients when possible.

Randy Hausmann - jewelry made from old silverware and handcrafted canes use wood from downed trees. Fish prints made using fish caught by the artist, who also cuts his own mats and glass.

Creations from Wilma's House of Wonder - unique winter décor made from ice skates and other vintage items, wreaths made from wire hangers with ornaments, and stained glass.

Heartland Quilters - hand made quilts & crochet items such as hats, scarves, and headbands. Plus, items made from pallets and reclaimed wood.

Burlap and Buttons - fair trade items hand made by women in Uganda, such as: purses, jewelry sets, beads made from recycled magazines and paper bits, and beanies made from recycled sweaters.

River City Savories – artisanal cheese spreads, salsa, crab cakes, and ravioli, that are perfect for hostess gifts or easy holiday appetizers.

Nancee Heppner - Holiday decorations made from discarded and donated items, or upcycled supplies purchased at resale shops. Every piece is unique and one of a kind, and proceeds will go to our Veterans! The artist rescues unwanted "treasures" from dumpsters and garbage cans, cleans them up and makes them pretty again.

Straight Up Solar – info on solar panels for your home, which make a great gift for the environmentalist on your list who has everything. StraightUp Solar seeks to change our region’s energy and environmental paradigm by demonstrating and delivering for its neighbors and local communities the very real and quality-of-life enhancing sustainable energy, environmental, and economic choices now available to them.

Sierra Club – will have 2016 nature calendars for sale, and will offer information about joining the country's oldest and largest environmental non-profit committed to promoting sustainability and protecting our country's lands.

Alton Acoustic Arts – handmade clothing for adults, kids and babies: tie dye, patchwork, and bellbottoms. Also hula hoops, jewelry, upcycled home décor and music lesson gift certificates.

Grassroots Grocery – purchase gift memberships to Alton’s first co-operative grocery store that just opened this summer. GG T-shirts and baskets of locally made food & healthy products make great gifts!

Volunteers on behalf of our hosts, the YWCA of Alton, will offer a bake sale fundraiser and also invite guests to grab their tickets for the designer purse raffle – the GGB is the last day that tickets will be sold. “We are excited to have this great event back at the YWCA for the second year, and we hope everyone will come out to support our local artisans,” said YWCA Executive Director Andrea Lamer.

For more information please visit the “Events” page at

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Green Gift Bazaar