Porch swings, rocking chairs, baked goods, cans of stew, stained glass, fresh produce — these items and more will be available for purchase at the ninth annual Hitching Lot Holiday Market on Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon.
The holiday market is a tradition in Columbus during the weekend before Thanksgiving, where local vendors fill up about 60 stalls to sell crafts, baked goods and produce, said Katherine Lucas, Hitching Lot Farmers’ Market coordinator.
Main Street Columbus and the Hitching Lot Farmers’ Market Advisory Board host the event every year.
“If (people) want to get one-of-a-kind Christmas gifts, it’s a good time to come do your Christmas shopping,” Lucas said. “Also, there will be delicious baked goods. There’s anything you could imagine as far as cakes, pies and breads…They could come do their Christmas shopping and get desserts to take to Thanksgiving dinner.”
The event will also feature entertainment by Mother Goose and Melvin Mordecai, along with children’s activities.
And everything is local.
“We always like to support our local businesses and local craftsmen and … local farmers,” said Main Street Columbus Director Barbara Bigelow. “…That’s a big item that the farmers market does do is support local economy, which is one of the things that Main Street tries to do in everything it does.”
Every year the holiday market has a festive atmosphere, said Dianna Hankey, a New Hope resident who has sold baked goods at the market for the last eight years.
“It’s a tradition for a lot of people, too,” Hankey said. “That’s really when everything gets started is when you go to holiday market (and) see what everybody has. Everybody has a good chat, and it’s just really lovely.”
Hankey and her oldest daughter, Carli Mateer, sell baked goods such as breads and pies at the farmer’s market throughout the year. For the holiday market, they branch out into candy trays and three-layer cakes in flavors from German chocolate to red velvet to caramel. This year, they’re adding crafts as well, Hankey said — wreaths and Christmas stocking hangers. With all her goods, she does her best to keep the prices affordable for locals, she added.
Columbus resident Sheryl Smith also brings her homemade items to the holiday market every year. She does machine embroidery and sells embroidered towels, hand towels and aprons that are sports themed or have sayings sewn onto them. She sells them year-round, she says, but the holiday market is where people specifically come for crafts like hers.
“(At) the regular market, most of the people come out to get the produce, which is understandable,” she said. “So they’re not as much looking for crafts. With the holiday market, that’s why they’re there.
“It’s really great. Being at the farmers’ market toward the end (of the season), it kind of dies down. It’s just really quiet,” she added. “So when we get back together for the November holiday market, everybody enjoys it. They’re going to have good music, and I think you’ll find the attitude of almost everyone there is real upbeat and just glad to be there because it’s our last time to be together until next year.”
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