A Christmas version of the Merrickville’s Makers Market is coming to the Village this weekend. Local maker, Laura Starkey, has been organizing makers markets in Merrickville for the past four years. Due to COVID-19, and the closure of the Merrickville Community Centre, she organized a very successful outdoor Fall Market at the fairgrounds in September, which featured local makers from Merrickville and the surrounding area.
Laura would usually be organizing a Christmas market for December, but again, due to COVID-19, she is finding that people are looking to do their shopping a bit earlier this year, to send gifts via mail. “I asked everyone in September– would you be willing to do an outdoor market in November if I could do it early enough where the weather is still manageable,” Laura says. “They all said yes.”
She decided that, instead of having the November market at the fairgrounds, where the ground could be messy due to potential snow and rain, she would spread the vendors out throughout the Village in a European-style holiday market. “I’m so excited about it, because I’ve always wanted to have a European market.”
The roughly 50 vendors will be spread out in eight different spots throughout the Village. Most of the vendors will be outside, with about 10 indoors at The Knox event venue, which is in the old Presbyterian church on St Lawrence Street. All stations are within five blocks of each other, and there will be maps at each location showing where visitors can find the other vendors. “It gives people a chance to wander around the Village and visit some of their favourite stores at the same time,” Laura says. “It will be laid back and casual.”
There will be a wide variety of locally made items for sale, including knit ware, jewelry, clothing, ornaments, soaps and lotions, tea, art, and baked goods. They are even featuring a few new vendors, including someone who makes meditation cushions, and a Batik artist. “There will be quite a huge variety for everybody.”
Non-perishable food items will also be collected throughout the day in support of the Merrickville Food Cupboard. Laura believes that this is extremely important, as they will not be getting their usual influx of donations from the CP Holiday Train this year. “Usually, the holiday train comes through town and the food bank gets enough food for almost the entire year just from that one event. That’s not happening this year, so that’s pretty scary for us.” Food will be collected beside the Merry Christmas Shop and at Healthily Ever After. A list of items that the food cupboard is looking for can be found on the Merrickville’s Makers Market Facebook page.
Laura hopes that people come out, meet the local makers, and enjoy the wonderful atmosphere that Merrickville has to offer. “I hope they connect with some of the makers on another level,” she says. “For me, doing this for the last four years, we’ve all become friends. They’re such wonderful people, and they really give their heart and soul into what they do.”
The Merrickville’s Handmade Christmas Makers Market will be held on Saturday, November 14, from 11:00am- 4:00pm. For more information, and to get a map of all the vendor locations, visit the Merrickville’s Makers Market Facebook page.