'Tis the season to shop locally

John Knapp likes to make things complicated. “It comes from being an engineer,” the retired Merchant Marine says.

Knapp’s favorite thing to complicate: Toys. Toy bunnies that hop, dinosaurs that charge and trucks that bounce and roll – he makes them one at a time from his home in Oxford using wood he gathers off his property.

His wares are just one example of the many unique Chenango County products available this Christmas, Knapp says.

“There’s a lot of great artists making a lot of great stuff out there,” he said. “I think it gives people a lot of pride in their community to know there’s artists who make all these wonderful things that live in this community.”

To highlight local artists, businesses and products, the Bullthistle Project at Opportunities for Chenango is encouraging consumers to take part in a “Hometown Holidays Shop Local Challenge.” Participants will be given a shop local guidebook that catalogs over 54 area businesses and highlights their product lines and one-of-a-kind gift items.

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