by Brandon Mayer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The Kemptville Farmers’ Market’s annual Christmas market looked a little different this year. For the first time, the holiday market – which has traditionally been called the Mistletoe Fair – took place outdoors in the parking lot of the B&H grocery store on November 28, and was re-named the “Jack Frost Fair.” Another event will wrap up the season on December 5.
The Times spoke with Beth Tilbury of the Kemptville Farmers’ Market about the event. “We thought people wouldn’t want to come for only 20 vendors,” Beth said of one of the main reasons why this year’s event took place outdoors. Had the event taken place at the North Grenville Municipal Centre, as it usually does, the 20-vendor capacity limit would have been in place, due to the ongoing pandemic. The switch to an outdoor market allowed for 38 vendors, and spots sold out very quickly. “We were turning people away within two days of posting,” said Beth.
When asked about having the word “Fair” in the title, Beth noted that people never expect there to be rides or carnival games at the event – it is just traditional to call the Christmas market a ‘fair’. “We have vendors of every sort,” said Beth, noting that one big highlight of this year’s event was having The Station on site selling locally grown Christmas trees. Just like with the regular farmer’s markets, Sunday’s Christmas market featured only local vendors, selling only products that were either homemade or homegrown. Items for sale included baked goods, crafts, and much more, with a focus on giving shoppers the opportunity to buy locally made Christmas gifts.
Beth noted that, with so many people talking about shopping on Amazon every year, it is nice to be able to offer true local shopping in North Grenville, with products that are not just sold locally, but made or grown locally as well. Beth herself was one of the vendors, and her business, called “Celebrate! Cakes” was on site selling homemade English Christmas pudding.
Perhaps most important about the Jack Frost Fair is that all proceeds from the vendors’ table rentals were donated directly to the House of Lazarus and Big Sky Ranch. In addition, while admission to the market for shoppers was technically free, those entering were asked for a monetary donation, or a food donation, for local food banks.
Those who missed Sunday’s Jack Frost Fair will be glad to know that another fair will take place on Sunday, December 5, to wrap up the season. Anyone seeking more information, including a full list of vendors, can visit the Kemptville Farmers’ Market Facebook page at www.facebook.com/kemptvillefarmersmarket.