It’s early November — where did this year go? Wherever the year sped off to, it’s time again for the downtown merchants in Staunton to band together to help showcase all the amazing talent and commitment to community that’s at the heart of Staunton life.
And the kick off to all of that begins this Friday, November 8th, from 6-9pm, when downtown Staunton comes alive for the holiday season with Sparkles and Sweets, an annual event that celebrates living local, shopping local, and supporting everything local about Staunton.
One of the most fun aspects of this in my view is that, as for other downtown festivals, the Beverley Street portion of downtown will be closed to vehicular traffic, making the heart of downtown effectively a pedestrian mall for the evening.
But unlike regular “malls” our downtown mall is full not of franchises, national brands, and all the predictable offerings that are already available on the Internet. Instead our “mall” is full of the curated, creative, one-of-a-kind retail outlets, eateries, pop-ups, art openings, and truly unique offerings that say local, local, local — it’s Staunton at its finest!
At the Staunton Antiques Center for Sparkles and Sweets
During Sparkles and Sweets the Staunton Antiques Center will be open late — until 9pm. Stop by to see our wonderful register gal, Alice, (who’s also one of our fantastic vendors), and her cohorts, and browse our two floors of wonderfully curated antique and vintage goods* (and some hand-made artisan goods by some of our vendors, too).
This three-hour extension beyond our normal retail hours will give you plenty of time to take the family — or a date — on a walk down memory lane, where antiques that are both year-round and seasonal for the holidays are there for you to enjoy, talk about, and even to find the perfect gift for that certain someone.
But we also know that, beyond Friday night’s Sparkles and Sweets, that if you work until 5pm, it’s hard to get in to shop, especially if your weekends are busy. So beginning November 15th we’ll extend our regular hours into the evening as needed. If you like and follow our Facebook page, you’ll see occasional alerts about any extra shopping hours.
Did you also know that vintage and antiques are the greener choice, always, because they already exist and so ask nothing new of precious natural resources or from the industrial economy? That’s why we say at the Staunton Antiques Center that we provide “recycling at its best!” So buying antiques for holiday gifts will give you the sustainable option you want and the eco-friendly cred you deserve!
Upstairs at The Artisans Loft
Upstairs in the Staunton Antiques Center at The Artisans Loft we’re abuzz right now with final preparations for the upcoming winter art show, “Starry Night.” This juried art show features a range of artists and mediums — from paintings to sculpture, jewelry to woodwork, prints to photographs, pottery to hand made cards (and more!).
Even as you read this the art and artisan goods are being hung and displayed in beautiful ways that will set the mood for an exciting season of local shopping for local artist- and artisan-made art and gifts.
If you haven’t yet visited the Artisans Loft then by all means, put it on your must-do list for Sparkles and Sweets (and throughout the holiday shopping season). The quality and level of work you will find up there will, I must say, blow your mind. Staunton may be a quaint and cozy small town, but it punches well above its weight when it comes to art of all kinds.
The art we choose is unique, edgy, and executed to the highest standards. You will enjoy simply seeing this work in our spacious, light-filled loft gallery. And you’ll be beyond proud to purchase any of these amazing pieces for yourself or as gifts for loved ones. “One-of-a-kind” actually doesn’t even begin to cover just how special this work is. We’re proud to provide this venue for local artists to shine!
So join us this Friday night, November 8th, for “Starry Nights.” We’ll have art to see, artists to meet, live music with Heifetz International Music Institute cellist Ana Abrantes, delicious nibbles and sips, and YOU!
And if, God forbid, you can’t join us on Friday — 🙂 — you can still see Starry Nights. The show runs through January and, like the Staunton Antiques Center, the Artisans Loft is open seven days a week.
— Ellen Boden, Proprietress, Staunton Antiques Center
*For more insight into antiques shopping, download my FREE e-book guide to shopping antiques in our region: