This year’s Holiday Market will fill the senses with Christmas spirit, from the songs of carolers and the hustle and bustle of downtown shoppers to the smell of steaming hot chocolate, the taste of melt-in-your-mouth kettle corn, and the glow of white lights strung along the Community Pavilion on South Main Street in Washington.
Like a scene from a Hallmark holiday classic, the only thing that would make Dec. 1 more magical in Washington is “just a dusting” of snow, according to Christy Bean Rowing, the executive director of Washington’s Citywide Development Corporation.
“Just a little bit,” Rowing said. “A little coating of snow to make it glow would be perfect.”
The festivities will begin at 3 p.m. for the second year. The market, which will be set up in the pavilion used for the farmers market, will have food, music and 13 craft vendors.
“We were so pleasantly surprised by its success last year,” Rowing said.
To give the market a promotional boost this year, she decided to pair it with the city’s Small Business Saturday this weekend. She said vendors will be set up in the pavilion the Saturday following Thanksgiving for the business event and will return the following week to sell their goods at the market.
“Small Business Saturday has been around and all over the country for a long time, but we haven’t really been capitalizing on it here locally,” she said. “Both of these events, and any event we have downtown, is to highlight what’s already here.”
Starting Saturday and continuing throughout the week, children can get their letters in to Santa by dropping them at one of 15 mailboxes in participating downtown businesses. Then on Dec. 1, they can speak to him in person at the Holiday Market, where he’ll be checking his lists twice and taking toy requests.
“The pavilion is such an asset to the community,” Rowing said. “Part of my job is to make sure it gets used and this is the perfect end-of-the-season event.”
Following the market will be the annual Christmas parade, beginning at Chestnut Street and traveling south on Main Street past the pavilion. Rowing said Main Street is usually lined with bundled-up residents, who make the classic parade of fire and police vehicles and seasonally decorated floats a holiday tradition.
“It’s a great time to see people you haven’t seen in a while or since our summer events,” said Rowing.