Alternative Christmas Fair — a Grand Valley tradition |

Alternative Christmas Fair — a Grand Valley tradition

Sharon Sullivan


WHAT: Alternative Christmas Fair

WHEN: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sun., Nov. 24,

WHERE: Lincoln Park Barn, corner of 12th and Gunnison

INFO: 970-243-0136;

What do you buy for the person who has everything?

There’s always the gift of giving.

The 23rd annual Alternative Christmas Fair at the Lincoln Park Barn is a festive and educational event where people learn about local, national and international organizations that help people locally and throughout the world. “Shoppers” donate money to the cause of their choice in the name of a loved one. In exchange, they’ll get a customized holiday gift card to give to the person — a card that notifies them of the gift in their name.

For instance, in the Grand Valley, $12 will buy a case of peanut butter for the Agape Food Basket in Fruita; $50 (or a $10 “share”) for Colorado Discover Ability goes toward a scholarship for a day of skiing for a disabled person; a $5 donation to Western Slope Center for Children will cover the cost of a journal for a child victim of sexual assault.

Internationally, donations of various amounts go toward programs that help feed and educate orphans in Mexico; provide seeds and training worldwide to help families plant vegetable gardens; or enable a rural family in Bolivia to have clean water. Fifty different nonprofit organizations will be represented with colorful booths and educational materials about the various programs and projects.

Each year, Fruita 8-9 advanced placement human geography students get involved by researching various issues and organizations addressing those concerns. They build displays and help out at the annual fair.

Students this year have chosen to shine a spotlight on correcting hunger issues in America; helping Ethiopian farmers find stability by purchasing a cow, donkey or pig for a family; and improving vision care to prevent blindness in Tibet.

People can donate to an entire project or purchase a “share” for a smaller amount.

Additionally, there will be handmade ornaments and other crafts by U.S. military veterans with Operation Revamp, a local organization that provides an artistic outlet and venue for veterans who create artwork.

Live piano music will be performed throughout the day on Sunday, and coffee and cookies will be served.

If you’d like to purchase an alternative gift but can’t attend the event, visit the website,, to see a list of the projects. The market closes Dec. 16 at 5 p.m.

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