In the spirit of Small Business Saturday held last week, holiday shoppers wanting to buy local can patronize several craft fairs, art shows and small businesses this weekend. The Grand Meander along Grand Avenue in St. Paul on Saturday (www.grandave.com) features free firetruck rides for kids, live reindeer, soup tasting and a hedgehog meet-and-greet courtesy of the Como Zoo. A juried art fair with 75 artists takes place between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. at Ramsey Jr. High (1700 Summit Av.).
In its six years the No Coast Craft-o-Rama has grown into an innovative fair that City Pages dubbed "best craft show." It's held Friday and Saturday at Midtown Global Market (920 E. Lake St., Mpls., www.nocoastcraft.com).
An assortment of locally made jewelry, photography, ceramics, sculpture and green products are featured at in a non-juried show at Shoppes at Arbor Lakes in the former Borders location in Maple Grove (12059 Elm Creek Blvd., Maple Grove, 763-494-5984, maplegroveartscouncil.org).
The juried show and sale at the Minnetonka Center for the Arts continues Thursdays through Saturdays through Dec. 23 at 2240 N. Shore Dr., Wayzata, 952-473-7361.State Fair merchandise sale
The Minnesota State Fair Foundation (651-632-2621, www.msffoundation.org) is having, for the first time, a fair and sports merchandise clearance sale. Everything will be discounted by 30 to 80 percent. Hundreds of different items from drinkware to apparel will be on sale for $5 to $25. Most merchandise will be fair-related apparel, but Twins, Vikings, Wild and Saints items will also be available, including Vikings and State Fair T-shirts for $5 and $6. The sale runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Warner Coliseum on the fairgrounds. Enter through the doors on Judson Avenue. Some of the proceeds from the sale go to the foundation to preserve and improve State Fair buildings and grounds. Admission and parking are free.Sample sale for home furnishings, gifts
MHS Licensing (Crescent Ridge Office Building, 11100 Wayzata Blvd., Hopkins, 952-544-1377) isn't a recognizable name for most shoppers, but the Hopkins company is an agent for about 30 artists. Save 30 to 75 percent on throws ($10, regularly $35), mugs, shower curtains and other bathroom accessories, gift bags, greeting cards, candles, holiday and home decor, and kitchen items. Many items have a lodge style, including items from local award-winning wildlife artists Joe, Robert and Jim Hautman. Prices range from $1 to $20 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday in the first-floor cafeteria. Only cash and checks are accepted.Greed Gone Wild sale
Local dealers and stylists who get paid to have a good eye for fashion and furnishings clear out their closets and backrooms for the Greed Gone Wild sale. New and used items include vintage and designer men's and women's wear, estate jewelry, purses and other accessories, hand-crafted items, dishes, pottery, art, furniture and home furnishings, all at sample sale prices or less. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Saturday next to Guild at 4416 Excelsior Blvd., St. Louis Park, 612-810-4357. Cash and checks are accepted.