For the past 48 Decembers, thousands have thronged the Fourth Avenue Street Fair.

They can do it again Dec. 7-9 for the 49th fair.

About 270 artists from around the country will have booths at the juried arts and crafts event.

Then there are the folks who entertain us with music, dance, juggling, stilt walking. And the food, of course, is another reason to go.

If you are not adverse to crowds, this is the place to get some holiday shopping done.

And unique shopping: all wares must be handmade by the artist manning the booth. You’ll find textiles, jewelry, ceramics, leather works, garden sculptures — oh, just about anything.

Fred Ronstadt, executive director of the Fourth Avenue Merchants Association, says many of the artists will be first timers at the fair.

“What we’ve been seeing is a lot more and newer artists are starting to apply to the show,” he says. “Which is great, but a mixed blessing — a lot of people come to see their favorite artist, but that artist may be replaced by a new artist.”

If the weather holds, plan to negotiate a crowd.

“We expect 300,000 of our closest friends and neighbors,” he says.

Parking is a major hassle during the event, and police often comb alleyways and side streets and slap parking tickets on cars that ignore the rules.

The Tucson Streetcar might be the best way to go. Though it won’t go down the avenue, it will pick up and drop off passengers at each end of the fair: East University Boulevard and North Fourth Avenue and East Ninth Street and North Fourth Avenue.

Bring your friends, your good cheer, your savvy shopping skills, but don’t bring your dogs; they are not allowed.

The fair — it’s free to attend — is 10 a.m. to dusk Friday through Sunday.

More information: fourthavenue.org

Contact reporter Kathleen Allen at kallen@tucson.com or 573-4128. On Twitter: @kallenStar