Ann Stepetin (left) and Marion Dau (center) talk to Pauline Duncan about her woven aprons and other items for sale at the Indigenous Artists & Vendors Holiday Market on Friday at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall. The market and nearby Juneau Public Market continue through Sunday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Ann Stepetin (left) and Marion Dau (center) talk to Pauline Duncan about her woven aprons and other items for sale at the Indigenous Artists & Vendors Holiday Market on Friday at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall. The market and nearby Juneau Public Market continue through Sunday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Getting a warm and fuzzy feeling on a rainy Black Friday at the public markets

Annual Juneau Public Market, Indigenous Artists And Vendors Holiday Market continue through Sunday.

Holiday shoppers of all budgets wandering through three buildings filled with vendors didn’t need to go beyond Pauline Duncan’s table to find thrifty- and premium-priced items ranging from devil’s club/red clover lip balm for $3 to a hand-woven Raven’s Tail apron for $4,500.

Duncan, a Sitka resident with decades of tribal awards for cultural and professional contributions, made her first appearance at the Indigenous Artists & Vendors Holiday Market on Friday at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall. The annual market with about two dozen vendors was among two community markets that opened at noon, with the 41st annual Juneau Public Market opening a few hundred yards away at Centennial Hall and the Juneau Arts and Culture Center.

Shoppers browse the isles at the Indigenous Artists & Vendors Holiday Market at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall on Friday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Shoppers browse the isles at the Indigenous Artists & Vendors Holiday Market at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall on Friday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

While the public market is the bigger event, with about 175 vendors this year, Duncan opted for the newer and smaller market for her first holiday season as a vendor in Juneau rather than her hometown.

“I thought just for change I think I’m gonna try to Juneau,” she said. “And I’m familiar with Tlingit and Haida, and it was easy for me to get a table.”

The lip balms were a bargain item because they were left over from the summer tourism season and Duncan said she wants to sell fresh ones next year. The two aprons listed at $4,500 might seem like a big stretch as an impulse buy, but on her table was a price list for Raven’s Tail weaving items in 1992-93, including a spaced-weave apron for $3,000 (about $6,400 adjusted for inflation) and a compact-weave apron for $5,000 (about $10,650 today).

“I don’t feel these aprons are too out of reason for the price,” she said.

A few dozen people wait in the rain outside Centennial Hall for the start of the Juneau Public Market just before noon on Friday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

A few dozen people wait in the rain outside Centennial Hall for the start of the Juneau Public Market just before noon on Friday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

The crafts, foods, practical gadgets and toys being sold inside the three buildings were by tradition a far cry from the traditional Black Friday shopping rush for big-screen TVs and game consoles at major retailers. But true to Black Friday tradition there was a line of a few dozen people standing outside Centennial Hall in the rain, plus a dozen or so more squeezed into the sheltered entryway, before the main venue of the Juneau Public Market opened at noon.

Standing second in line next to the door before it was unlocked was Larry Gamez, who said he arrived about an hour before the scheduled opening.

“I’m actually just here to check things out,” said Gamez, adding he’s been to the public market about five times during his 50 years of living in Juneau. “I’m looking for some artwork to hang on my wall. I’m not shopping for anybody, I’m just getting out on this very, very rainy day.”

Among the first buyers was one of the vendors, as Janelle Cook bought her mother a kuspuk from The Salvation Army Thrift Store tables in the hallways just inside the entrance.

The main room of Centennial Hall is filled with vendors and shoppers during the opening day of the 41st annual Juneau Public Market on Friday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

The main room of Centennial Hall is filled with vendors and shoppers during the opening day of the 41st annual Juneau Public Market on Friday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

She also made earrings to sell at the booth where her parents, Todd and Annie Fritze, were selling items made from furs they trapped near their home in Dillingham — an annual tradition that comes with them visiting Cook and other family members now living in Juneau for Thanksgiving.

In addition to their collection of fur mug warmers, earmuffs, plush animals and other featured crafts, the couple said a new item this year is keychains.

“We’re always looking for something new,” Todd Fritze said. “We discuss ways that make sense and we try to make use of spare parts.”

Expressing interest in bartering — of a sort — about knit hats the couple was selling was expressed by Cheryl Benson, who said she’s a knitter herself, but greatly interested in the detachable fur poms on the hats at the booth. They didn’t want to sell her just a pom since such scraps aren’t plentiful and she was reluctant to pay $45 for a hat with a pom. Ultimately she got their business card so she could “gift” them one of her hats to put a pom on.

Aside from that stop, Benson said she had other things she hoped to pick up at the market.

“I love to keep note cards handy,” she said. “I love to send real handwritten notes to people.”

Nicole O’Brien adds to her collection of pottery purchased from Bell Pottery at a Juneau Public Market table staffed Friday by Catherine Fritz (left), who sells homemade jam at the table, and Lorraine Bell, the daughter of Betty Bell who makes the pottery. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Nicole O’Brien adds to her collection of pottery purchased from Bell Pottery at a Juneau Public Market table staffed Friday by Catherine Fritz (left), who sells homemade jam at the table, and Lorraine Bell, the daughter of Betty Bell who makes the pottery. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Also adding to a plentiful collection was Nicole O’Brien, who bought “lots of bowls” made by longtime pottery vendor Betty Bell.

“I’ve been collecting her pottery for years,” said O’Brien, 36, noting she’s been going to the public markets regularly since she was a child.

An hour after the public market opened Centennial Hall was fairly packed and the line outside the door wasn’t that much shorter as a steady stream of new arrivals poured in. Peter Metcalfe, the market’s longtime organizer, estimated attendance will equate to about 20% of Juneau’s population of 32,000 — including repeat visitors — over three days.

Larry Gamez (left) has his admission ticket to the Juneau Public Market punched on Friday. He was the second in line to enter the market at Centennial Hall, arriving an hour early. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Larry Gamez (left) has his admission ticket to the Juneau Public Market punched on Friday. He was the second in line to enter the market at Centennial Hall, arriving an hour early. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

But there’s plenty of traditional Black Friday shoppers elsewhere in town as well. Steve Baker, a local taxi driver, said he started dropping people off at Fred Meyer starting at 2:30 a.m. “to get in line, get the specials, get the deals on the big electronics.” He said he had no desire to be among such shoppers when the store opened at 6 a.m.

“It’s not worth it,” he said. “I don’t want to get in a fistfight, or someone getting an argument over who grabbed what first.”

Both the public market and Indigenous market are scheduled to continue through Sunday.

• Contact Mark Sabbatini at mark.sabbatini@juneauempire.com or (907) 957-2306.

•••••

Know and Go

What: Juneau Public Market

When: Noon to 7 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Where: Centennial Hall, Juneau Arts and Culture Center.

Admission: $10 to Centennial Hall, children under 12 free. No admission to enter the JACC.

What: Indigenous Artists & Vendors Holiday Market

When: Noon-5 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

Where: Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall.

Admission: Free.

Todd and Annie Fritze (left) talk to Cheryl Benson about fur products sold at the couple’s booth at the Juneau Public Market on Friday at Centennial Hall. The couple travels from Dillingham each year to spend Thanksgiving with family in Juneau sell items made from furs they trap. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Todd and Annie Fritze (left) talk to Cheryl Benson about fur products sold at the couple’s booth at the Juneau Public Market on Friday at Centennial Hall. The couple travels from Dillingham each year to spend Thanksgiving with family in Juneau sell items made from furs they trap. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Vendors and shoppers mingle at the Juneau Public Market tables in the Juneau Arts and Culture Center on Friday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Vendors and shoppers mingle at the Juneau Public Market tables in the Juneau Arts and Culture Center on Friday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

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