An outdoor Interlakes Christmas Craft Market will be held this Saturday, Nov. 14.
The event will be staged held in tents behind the Interlakes Community Hall, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Interlakes Community program coordinator Maggie Benzing said this is the first time the craft fair has been held outside since it has been operating over the past 20 years. The number of vendors will also be halved from 30 to 15, while the event will focus more on crafters this year and said everything on sale will be handmade by locals.
This will include the works of a couple of different woodworkers, quilters, handmade Christmas decorations and homemade dog treats, she said.
“We hope to make it a little bit of a European-style market, so everyone will have decorations and be lit up with Christmas lights and everything will look fabulous. We will also serve, for the first time, mulled wine and hot cider,” Benzing said, adding that their concession will be open to sell hot drinks and food.
Bonfires will be lit around the site for people to warm-up at and give them room to spread out and keep two metres apart. Everyone is also asked to wear a mask and give their name and contact info at the door, so they can be contacted should anything happen.
“People are a little skeptical (that it’s outside) but I think it will be great. Coming from Europe I’m used to having all these Christmas markets outside and I think it’s way nicer than having it indoors,” Benzing said.
About 120 visitors came to the market last year, and Benzing hopes people will stagger their visits as they’re limited to only 50 at the event at any one time. As the event is taking place in a fenced-in area, they will be able to regulate the numbers and may ask some people to wait in their car, to follow the rules.
Benzing said the market should give people some great ideas for Christmas gifts and there will be new vendors on display.
“It’s always important to support local because everybody had a hard year this year. We have great craftspeople around here and I think it will be a nice surprise for people to find out what they have to offer,” Benzing said.
A 5th annual Outdoor Christmas Market that had been scheduled for the 108 Heritage site on Nov. 21 has been cancelled. Ulli Vogler, president of the 100 Mile & District Historical Society, which runs the 108 Heritage Site, said the decision was made following a spike in COVID-19 cases. “Due to COVID we would like to keep our community and vendors safe and we as the 108 Heritage Site, the Board of Directors have decided to cancel the Christmas Market,” Vogler said.