Christmas Market returns to Orillia Fairgrounds Farmers' Market
Lori Beard, left, and Rachael McKay, whose business Have Knots was one of the vendors at the first ODAS Park Christmas Market Saturday morning.
If you’re looking to shop locally this holiday season, a good place to start would be the Orillia Fairgrounds Farmers’ Market.
The year-long market, located just outside the city limits at ODAS Park, kicked off its first Christmas market of the season recently, with four more markets still to come before the big day.
It’s the second year for the special holiday theme.
“We decided to open it up to more participants for our Christmas market,” explained Nadia McIlveen, organizer of the market.
“We adhere to our farmers’ market policy of having only items that are grown, made or baked.”
There are no re-sellers at the market, meaning all of the products up for grabs either came from the ground or were created by the numerous artisans who populated the hall. The only difference between the Christmas markets and the regular farmers’ markets is the increased number of vendors selling created goods.
There were 30 vendors at the first Christmas market, with 35 to 40 vendors expected in the following four weeks, right up to Christmas Eve. While last year’s market had both Friday and Saturday sales, this year, McIlveen said, the decision was made to keep the shopping to one day a week.
Each week, vendors are donating goods to be raffled off as part of a gift basket. As well, families and their young ones can get a picture with Santa Claus. Khloe Photography will offer family photo mini-sessions at $10 per photo or $25 for three photos.
The markets feature live musical entertainment, children’s arts and crafts and the opportunity to donate to The Sharing Place food bank.
Those vendors are enjoying the market as much as the patrons.
“The vibe is great, the music is good,” said Rachael McKay, of Have Knots.
“And the lemon squares are divine.”
The markets continue Dec. 3, 10, 17 and 24.