The "elves" have been working hard. The goodies are on the shelves. The days are getting cool.

That means one thing - Santa's Sleigh Ride is ready to take flight!

The area's annual self-guided shopping tour is set for this coming weekend, featuring around a dozen arts and crafts shops in the Northeast Bradford area selling handmade products. The tour runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Shoppers may pick up brochures with maps and shop descriptions at any of the stops and plan their route from there. Driving through the hills, past farmland and down country roads, they'll discover stores tucked away in the countryside, offering locally made foods, jewelry, decorations and more.

She's "pretty much" ready, Sleigh Ride organizer Donna Brink reported a few days ago.

Brink owns Hearthstone Herbs and Perennials, near the Northeast Bradford schools. As she visited, her store displayed things like dried flowers, necklaces, and bear, pig and rooster figurines. A shiny dragonfly decoration clung to a wall. Hearthstone also will sell knitted goods by Sue Belli, ceramics by Sherry Cook and jewelry by Connie Sharer.

Many of the shops will also offer refreshments and door prizes.

Most stops have been on the tour before. Two are new this year, Brink noted: Kathy's Kountry, near Herrickville, which sells landscape paintings on objects and other outdoor decorations; and the Rome Presbyterian Education Building, which will serve breakfast and lunch and have a quilt and furniture raffle, bake sale and bazaar (closed Sunday).

Brink reports the Sleigh Ride features 13 stops with 17 vendors. Other stops this year and some of their products are: Pickering Winery, Rome, dry to sweet and fruit wines; Rainy Day Knit-n-Sew and Colonial Quilts, Rome, quilted hangings, pillow shams, dolls, ornaments; Abell Productions, Rome, toy boxes, wine racks, chests; Antler Ridge Winery, Rome, grape and fruit wines and wine-making supplies; Studio C - The Glass Shed, Rome, glass jewelry, "Whimzies," wine bottle trays, specialty scarves and handbags; Endless Mountains Cabin Maple Syrup, Rome, maple products, gift baskets, candles, wooden and quilted gifts; Elmo's Crafts and

Karen's Doll Clothes, Allis Hollow, wooden toys, doll furniture and clothes for American Girl Dolls, jewelry, chests, geodes; LeRaysville Cheese Factory, cheese, Amish jams, jellies and candy, syrup, olive oil, honey; Parish House, LeRaysville, lunch 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday; Country Goose, LeRaysville, paintings and photography ("Bring a piece of mangled tire tread for future sculpture 'Horse Power' and get a free gift with purchase," according to the brochure.)

Sharon Morales of the Country Goose made the Sleigh Ride signs popping up along area roads. "She worked really hard at that," Brink said. The Sleigh Ride Web site had 113 hits right after they were set up, she added. Morales also designed the maps. Shops are marked by bright pink wooden sleds. For more information, visit www.santassleighride.com.