Christmas cheer was in the air over the weekend at the multiple holiday markets across town where local vendors and artisans were selling unique gifts and products.
Nina La Costa organized the 2nd annual Innisfil Holiday Market at the Stroud Community Centre, which she intends to make an annual tradition for the community.
“We’re very excited that this year, without restrictions, we were able to do an in-person market. We’re featuring local vendors, so that way you’re shopping amongst your neighbours and your friends," she said.
Santa even made an appearance at the market for a reading of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.
Nearly 20 vendors from Simcoe County and the GTA were on hand selling products such as baked goods, charcuterie boards, custom ornaments, jewellery, natural-made products, art, textiles, and cookware. The first 100 shoppers were given a swag bag, and everyone had the opportunity to enter a draw where one lucky individual won an RCA 50” television.
In the spirit of the season, La Costa encouraged guests to help fill the Troy Scott Community Fridges in their pre-event campaign, "Fill the Fridge.” (Donations are always welcome. There are three Troy Scott Community Fridges in Innisfil.)
About 10 kilometres away, on a cold, windy day, the warmth of the season was in full effect at Nantyr Shores Secondary School. Student volunteers collected donations of cash, canned goods, and unwrapped toys for admission to its Holiday Market. Vendors and artisans sold an assortment of products from crafts, hats, baked goods, books, and more. Music from the school band echoed through the main hall, and children visited with Santa as student volunteers joyfully looked on.
In a community where charitable giving and community spirit are staples year-round, the holiday markets in Innisfil provided not only unique gifts and a platform to highlight local businesses, but the opportunity to pass on the importance of entrepreneurial pursuits and holiday cheer to the youth in Innisfil.
Amber Green is a freelance reporter with Village Media.