There was a lot of Christmas spirit in the community of 100 Mile House on Friday, Nov. 15 and Saturday, Nov. 16, while the South Cariboo Farmers Christmas Market set up shop in the Community Hall.
“I think it has been a great Christmas Market. There were people through yesterday (Nov. 15) and today (Nov. 16) it has been a busy, steady flow,” said Amanda Patterson, market manager. “Some vendors have had a fantastic day and that’s what we really want to see, right?”
In total, there were 46 vendors at the event with three of them switching out on Saturday for another three. Grade 7 students from Horse Lake Elementary School also volunteered their time to help out with the gift wrapping station and the kids’ corner.
“The kids’ corner has been a lot of fun. Parents can drop their kids off and do their shopping and the kids are making a craft and there’s a Christmas tree to take pictures and then gift wrapping as well. It’s been great, for me, watching the little kids being a part of the process and they’re just so cute together and they’re having a good time and getting them into the Christmas spirit.”
Bryan Austerberry, one of the vendors, also said the market was great. The artist was drawing a follow-up piece to the one he drew at last year’s Christmas Market, which depicted four kids peering into a window at toys on Birch Avenue.
“People always like to watch me draw, that’s why I do it. It gives them a chance to see what I do and how I do it,” he said. “The reason I also do it here -the same thing I do when I have my gallery shows – is to try to inspire people to pick up a pencil again because when we were young just about all of us drew with a pencil and somewhere along the line we lost that. That’s my ambition, to try and get people back to the pencil and carry it on.”
Austerberry said the great thing about coming to the market is it’s a reunification for the vendors and their families who haven’t seen each other since the Farmer’s Market’s last date in September. He said that it was special to him because they are all like family to each other, a sentiment Patterson agreed with after telling a story about bringing Austerberry to the hospital after he was injured one market, with the incident leaving him requiring stitches.
It was the first Christmas Market with Patterson in charge. One of the lessons she said learned from this one, is she would limit the number of vendors.
“I know it sounds good that we have 46 vendors but the space is so limited it almost feels like if we’ve had 35 it would be a more comfortable shopping experience. So one thing I would change next year is that I would put a cap on vendors that we have instead of trying to squish everybody in.”
Another thing she said she would like to change is the time. She said it would be better to have it start on Saturdays later.
“It’s early to try to get here by 9 a.m. and I don’t think many people really look forward to Christmas shopping at 9 a.m. after working all week.”
She said the customers were happy and she hadn’t heard any complaints.