DELIGHTS ranging from traditional Welsh food and drink to Russian religious art and from stunning wildlife photos to intricate hand-blown glass all feature in this year's Celtic Winter Fayre.
The event will be staged in Llandudno from November 19-23.
Once again the setting from this annual arts and crafts extravaganza, which has rapidly become a highlight of the North Wales events calendar, is the seaside town's Mostyn Champneys Retail Park, in easy reach of the transport network and the promenade.
Organisers promise this year's fayre will be bigger and better than ever, with over 130 stalls offering a glorious array of authentic foods and crafts from all parts of the UK and other countries - all undercover in marquees and wooden cabins.
Although the main aim is to celebrate all things Celtic, there's a definite international flavour to the five-day fayre.
After their hit appearance at last year's event, nuns from St Elisabeth Convent in Minsk, Belarus will make a welcome 3,000-mile return trip to Llandudno with their exquisite range of crafts, including ceramics, embroideries, woodwork and metalwork, which they sell to support their vital work with orphans, the homeless and people with drug and alcohol problems.
If you're shopping early for the festive season, on the stall occupied by Conwy-based Parisella you can sample the novelty of Christmas pudding-flavoured ice cream, along with a host of other mouth-watering varieties, from the more traditional pistachio to the taste-tingling blue banana.
Also perfect for picking up a bit of Christmas spirit is the stall of Celtic Country Wines who, at their base in the beautiful Teiffi Valley of Ceredidgion, combine ancient recipes with modern production techniques to produce wines from dry through to sweet that can be drunk with meals, at social occasions, picnics and parties.
Beer fans are in for a rare treat when they visit the stall of North Wales Brewery. On top of their year-round favourites like Abergele Ale and Bodwelwyddan Bitter, they are also offering some intriguing Christmas specials such as Christingle and Ginger Snap.
Stunning images of everything from birds and squirrels to big beasts like tigers and orang-utans will be showcased by North Wales-based wildlife photographer Tracey Langley.
And there's a range of awe-inspiring craftwork from The Glassblobbery, based at Glanrafon, near Corwen, who will have a memorable display of hand-made glass animals, flowers, dragons and other creatures, which make the perfect gift for birthdays and weddings.
If taking in the vast array of stalls at the fayre leaves you feeling in need of a quick sit down, then you could pay a visit to the stall of Julian and Trish Durham. From their base near Wrexham, the husband and wife team hand craft a beautiful range of footstools which they sell at a fraction of high street prices.
George Newson, chairman of the organising committee, said: "The fayre is a not-to-miss opportunity for businesses such as mine to showcase their products and services. We will use it to launch some exciting new products and I know quite a few exhibitors will be doing the same.
"From the success it enjoyed last year, we know that the fayre is extremely popular with visitors. They know they will not only be able to look at lots of products they can't see elsewhere but can also to pick up some fantastic bargains. And you can't say fairer than that with Christmas coming up and the effects of the credit crunch being felt by many people."
- Celtic Winter Fayre is being held at Mostyn Champneys Retail Park, Llandudno from Wednesday-Sunday, November 19-23, 2008. Admission: 50p. Accompanied children free. Open from 9.30am-5pm, Wednesday- Saturday and 9.30am-4pm, Sunday.