November has only just begun, which means one thing: The holidays are right around the corner.

Carbondale is already getting ready for the season, with the 42nd annual Carbondale Christmas Boutique. The event takes place on Saturday from 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. at the Carbondale Fire Department, and offers a variety of local goods and crafts from small vendors.

“Over the 42 years it’s been going on, it’s just been a neat tradition,” said Charlotte Vanderhurst, a longtime Boutique member. “A variety of things that people make, good quality and good prices.”

The event started when Vanderhurst and a group of Carbondale women were impressed by the Unique Boutique event in Glenwood Springs and wanted to create something similar. Since then, the event has played host to over 140 different vendors and craftsman. Some of the items available at the boutique include leather goods, plants and handmade jewelry.

The event is organized by a group of local community members, of which Vanderhurst was formerly a co-chair. She explained that the event originally began in one of the founders’ homes, but once it began to grow they needed a new space and moved into the fire department. They’ve since moved along with the department to its new station. A portion of the profits also benefits the fire department.

Vanderhurst points out that the valley now has craft shows from Aspen to Parachute, but few have the 42-year history of the Christmas Boutique. Additionally, the Christmas Boutique offers complimentary coffee from Bonfire and homemade goodies to shoppers while they wander. So as the weather turns cold, the firehouse is the place to be for local goods and neighborly bonding.

“We’ve kinda been under the radar, and we just keep steadily doing this every year for 42 years,” said Vanderhurst. “I think what I’m proud about is that we’ve kept the tradition of nice quality, nice variety, nice prices. We like to have good quality, and each year we have new people who come in with new ideas.”

Chapman is the web editor for Aspen Daily News. He can be reached at or on Twitter @Nescwick.

Web Editor