It’s easy to get in the holiday spirit during the Holly Hop on Dec. 9 in the arts district of Benton Harbor, Mich. Hosted by The New Territory Arts Association (NTAA), this 5 to 9 p.m. event features nearly a dozen art, music, dance, and restaurant venues. “Strolling between the galleries and shops, meeting up with family and friends, sipping hot chocolate – it’s a feel-good holiday experience,” said Ken Ankli, NTAA president.
Must-see Holly Hop stops include:
The Benton Harbor Public Library, 213 E. Wall St., which will draw art hoppers with a wide selection of handcrafted gifts during its Holiday Bazaar. Local artisans will greet gift seekers at booths offering food, jewelry, ornaments, pottery and original paintings.
Water Street Glassworks, 140 Water St., which will host its annual holiday sale. It will fill its showroom with one-of-a-kind glass art, ornaments and holiday decorations. Artists also will do demonstrations throughout the evening and the Metal Works Studio will be open to visitors. Other enticements include plates of sweets and cups of hot chocolate, choco-wine (a delicious combination of red wine and hot chocolate) and hot chocolate laced with peppermint schnapps.
The Citadel Dance Center, 91 Hinkley St., will present its Dance, Music & Dessert Night with treats and special performances at 6 and 7:30 p.m. Admission: $5.
Family Fotos at the OutCenter, 132 Water St., will celebrate the diversity and importance of family during the holidays. Photographs will feature families from the community.
The Sweet Bar by Mason Jar, 138 Water St., will let art hoppers discover something to give and something to get at its Jewelry Trunk Show. This pop-up gallery space will showcase handcrafted jewelry made of glass, metal, enamel, precious metal, clay and more! Paintings by Scott Elliott and little bird paintings and peg doll stocking stuffers by Saugatuck artists Olive and Lucy Alexander also will be available. The Sweet Bar is a popular warming station with a selection of artisan coffees, sodas, seasonal gelato and pastries.
ARS Gallery, Arts & Culture Center, 147 Fifth St., will highlight the work of local “I Am the Greatest” teen artists. Each painted, 3-ft. wood sculpture is a reflection on their thoughts and feelings about adversity. A limited edition of full size, “I Am the Greatest” (IATG) sculptures honoring the late-Muhammed Ali will also be on sale to benefit the new IATG Legacy Project.
The Livery, 190 Fifth St., will feature local fiber artist Cara Garnett’s “Ebb & Flow.” This piece recently appeared at ArtPrize, an international art completion held annually in Grand Rapids, Mich. Garnett co-owns and works from nearby Pair Studio.
The Livery also will enthrall music enthusiasts with The Go Rounds’ 9 p.m. high-energy performance. Free to the public, this progressive recording unit out of Kalamazoo, Mich. is fueled by its diverse lineup and collaborative spirit. The band’s music is described as beauty meeting fury with influences from soul, baroque folk, art rock, country and classic rock ‘n’ roll.
3 Pillars Music, 198 Water St., is a treasure trove for art hoppers wanting gifts for the audiophiles on their lists. This shop carries one of the best selections of musical instruments, amps, turntables and thousands of classic rock CDs and vinyl LPs, 45s and 78s.
The Collective Yoga Studio, 226 Territorial Rd., will encourage guests to live healthier in 2017 with its yoga demonstrations.
And North Pier Brewing Company, 670 N. Shore Dr., will stay open until 11 p.m. making it a great place to close out the tour and meet up with other art hoppers. It will offer selections from its rotating list of hand-crafted beers and Belgian-inspired and yeast-forward ales.