Alternative Gift Fair

This year’s Alternative Gift Fair, which focuses on handmade goods, is set for the first Sunday in December from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Riverside, 4845 Brockton Ave. All booths support non-profit causes.

Musicians will be singing and playing the dulcimer, the piano and recorders. A simple soup lunch is available at the fair. Parking is free.

The fair has baskets and jewelry from 10,000 Villages, handcrafts made by the United Methodist Women, cards and gifts from Heifer International. The local literary hub Inlandia Institute sells books about the Inland area. The Riverside Food Co-op will have a booth, with jams and candles.  The Human Migration Institute runs a booth that sells clothes, jewelry and food made by families who are new immigrants to the area. Riverside’s Assistance League Thrift Store has selected holiday fare. The Fellowship of Reconciliation offers photographic note cards. Soroptimist International is at the fair, and Martha Burns, a crafter who is part of “Feel Better Friends,” a group that sends hand made figures to ill children. 

Started in 1981 at First Christian Church, the fair has broadened its mission to include people from a variety of faith traditions. The original founder was Ken Gutierrez, a retired city employee. The current organizer is Kris Lovekin, who wants to create a space that feels welcoming to people of all backgrounds and beliefs.

“This is the alternative to mall shopping,” Lovekin said. “This fair makes it easy to have more of a handmade holiday.”

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