The annual Daly Mansion Holly Jolly Artisan Craft Show November 21 was cancelled this week. The showcase of locally made crafts and art had already been moved out of the mansion to the Ravalli County Fairgrounds First Interstate Center because of COVID-19 indoor crowd restrictions. The Holly Jolly was known to fill up the rooms and hallways of the Daly Mansion northeast of Hamilton with many more people than state coronavirus rules allowed. According to Courtney Hartelius, organizers had put together a plan at the fairgrounds building to socially distance the vendors, while also adding food and beverage service for the one-day event, planned for this Saturday.

But then the recent surge of infections brought out stricter Montana crowd controls - both inside and out. And Ravalli County has been experiencing a significant rise in positive tests for COVID-19. The Mansion Preservation Trust met with staff this week and, after reports from Public Health and the Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital, cancelled the event. The cancellation was a further disappointment for the mansion, which had already cancelled its main fundraiser this past summer - Roundup at Riverside, along with its popular autumn fundraisers - the Halloween Hay Rides and the long-running Daly Mansion Murder Mystery Dinner.

Like many non-profit groups in the Bitterroot, the mansion has conducted a successful on-line auction and Courtney says they're planning another such online activity in December. Details are being worked out. Self-guided tours of the mansion are still available with at least a 24-hour advance notice. And for the Thanksgiving weekend tours, please make your request by Wednesday, November 25. The mansion now closes daily at 4 p.m. for the winter months. Donations are always welcome at the Daly Mansion, 363-6004.

Meanwhile, the Daly Mansion Facebook page has links to many of the vendors that would've been showing their creations at the Holly Jolly show this Saturday. They include Copper Mountain Forge, Kitty Kat Jewelry, Romancing the Stone, Aspen Grove Farm, A Victorian Obsession, Sheri's Dolls, Art of Good Food, Blankets & More by Jamie and M&M Crafts. Check 'em out and you can connect online.

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