By Jessica Steinhoff | Photo by Dave Van
The day after Thanksgiving doesn’t have to involve standing in line at 4 a.m. to score a deal on an item countless other retailers sell. The Madison Makers Market offers an enjoyable alternative at its Black Friday Holiday Market and Pub Crawl on Nov. 25 (noon to 5 p.m.), which features cocktails, community and one-of-a-kind gifts from more than 120 local artists and crafts-people. Entrance is free, and the fun spreads across eight Madison watering holes and concert venues: the Brink Lounge, Giant Jones Brewing, Imaginary Factory, Old Sugar Distillery, State Line Distillery, the Sylvee, Vintage Capitol East and Working Draft Beer.
According to MMM director Dave Van, the market is an experience you’ll be talking about long afterward. “There are things there I wouldn’t believe if I hadn’t seen them myself, like chainmaille jewelry made from thousands of hand-soldered steel rings,” he says. “I once saw a Tiffany-style, stained-glass window hanger of the Nintendo 64 logo — and who would have expected ‘Schitt’s Creek’-themed cookies?”
Wares range from vintage jewelry to handmade candles, soaps and jams — or, as Van puts it, “things you just can’t find at a big-box store or national chain.” His TacoCat Creations booth peddles bow ties for cats and gifts for feline-loving humans.
Purchasing locally-made goods sustains this creative process while supporting the regional economy.
As Van puts it: “The future of our culture is born from what we do to nurture it today, and shopping local encourages new generations of creative and clever people to learn to make something for themselves, too.”