At the Mesa Historical Museum next Saturday, nearly 60 local vendors will be selling original and often one-of-a-kind items perfect for gift giving. (Special to the Tribune)

One of the city’s premier annual sales is coming to Mesa just in time for the holiday gift-giving season.

The Mesa Historical Museum, 2545 N. Horne, will host its Arts & Crafts Fair 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, on its grounds. Not only is admission to the fair free but attendees also will have free admission to the museum itself, 

Almost 60 local vendors selling handmade crafts including pottery, baskets, wood carvings, glass bowls, jewelry, upcycled art and much more,” said museum Executive Director Susan Ricci. “All of our vendors are from the East Valley and have unique merchandise. It’s a perfect time to do some early Christmas shopping.”

The fair also features a mini book fair and  concession stand benefitting the museum.

The festival started  three years ago as a small local event on the front lawn to help artists who were impacted by the pandemic and now it has doubled in size and continues to grow,” Ricci said.

And Ricci stressed that the proceeds “will help the Mesa Historical Museum make some much needed upgrades to its building.”

The free admission will entitle guests to see some of the museum’s interesting exhibits, such as “Veterans of Washington-Escobedo Community,” a pop-up exhibit open only through Dec. 7. It is sponsored by Pastor Eric Jenkins of Streets of Joy and James Christensen, president/CEO of Gateway Bank.

Another exhibit, “Early Entertainment In Mesa,” uses a collection of theater, movie and television photos and objects to show how various forms of entertainment have captivated and transformed Mesa audiences for over a century. 

This exhibit will run through June, 2023 and is part of the Mesa Historical Museum’s annual rotation of special exhibits which highlights significant aspects of Mesa’s history.

But history devotees will have to wait a little while for the museum’s new permanent exhibit developed in partnership with the region’s tribal community.

The new Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community exhibit celebrates the Onk Akimel O’odham and Piipaash cultures. This exhibit is sponsored by the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community Cultural Resources Department.

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