For a small town of close to 10,000 residents, Morinville is packed with family-friendly activities year-round, so expect a flurry of holiday events.
Starting off seasonal celebrations is the Morinville Farmers’ Market and Christmas Craft Fair Nov. 20 and 21 at Morinville Community Cultural Centre.
“Because it’s a week earlier than last year, it’s not part of the light festival. But it’s the kick-off to Christmas. Remembrance Day is over, and the market comes at a time when we start to think about Christmas,” said market manager Christine Mercier.
For both days, Mercier has booked 78 vendors, arranged food services, and will offer a reindeer-themed pantomime for general entertainment.
“A lot of people only come out to the market at Christmas and there’s a lot of seasonal-oriented things this year. We try very hard to recreate the magic,” said Mercier.
The picturesque cultural centre will feature a range of Christmas gifts from handmade stained-glass figurines, home décor, paintings, and wreaths to table runners, quilts, candles, and tree ornaments. Vendors are also introducing impressed burnt wood designs, metal lace jewelry, quirky gnomes, and paper crafts.
Two distillers will be on site along with a natural food vendor and baked goods tables. And of course, the animal world is represented with pet treats, doggie coats, bird houses, and bird feeders.
“People who come here are looking to buy unique things that don’t cost the Earth, as well as something that has meaning to the person who buys it and the one who receives it,” Mercier said.
BT’s Lunch Box from Westlock specializes in savoury hot soups. Owner Stephanie Beattie is setting up a pop concession that will serve light meals including soups, sandwiches, muffins, and cookies.
As part of reintroduction to normalcy, a bit of reindeer comedy provided by Carl Fisher, Scott Ross, and John Cheesman dressed as Rudolph, Hot Lips, and Good Ole Country Boy will entertain the crowds from 1:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. both days.
In 2020, Mercier pulled the plug on hosting a Christmas market because it was deemed too risky. However, in 2019 about 900 people attended.
“This year, we’re going to have more vendors. The building is light, airy, and comfortable. I think we should surpass past numbers.”
Admission is free and there will be hourly draws for a basket containing $100 worth of prizes.
“It’s all about supporting local. It’s a friendly, relaxed atmosphere and vendors are more than willing to talk about their craft.”
The Morinville Community Cultural Centre is at 9502 100 Ave. No charge for parking.