Monday, January 17, 2022

The first Williamsburg Christmas Market starts soon. Here’s the skinny

(WYDaily file/Courtesy of Unsplash)
(WYDaily file/Courtesy of Unsplash)

After years of discussion, Williamsburg is getting a traditional Christmas market this December.

And after a year that has challenged people in a variety of ways and kept everyone distanced, this market aims to create a vibrant, cheerful, safe gathering for Williamsburg residents this holiday season.

“Williamsburg is the kind of place that should have a good European village-style Christmas market,” aid Steve Rose, co-founder and president of CultureFix, the local nonprofit hosting the event. “We all could use something positive after a year that’s been tough for everyone.”

Indeed, many events have been canceled or postponed this year with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Because some of our other annual events had to be cut back a bit due to the pandemic, we were able to put funding together for a Christmas market in cooperation with Colonial Williamsburg and Merchant’s Square,” Rose said.

And the Williamsburg Christmas Market will certainly deliver a whimsical traditional European charm, complete with 20 large vendor booths with cheerful lighting displays, street performers like jugglers and magicians, a main stage with live music, and even a photo-op with Santa.

Of course, it’ll be a distanced Santa photo op, but a Santa photo-op nonetheless.

Along with setting up a stage for Santa to sit in the background so families can pose in the foreground, other safety measures will also be in place.

“It’ll be outdoors, and people distance themselves for the most part, but it’ll also be a fenced-in area with controlled admission and limited entry and exit, as well as hand sanitizing stations throughout.”

Music performances will also generally be limited to solo and duo acts to reduce the number of people present.

This is what Rose called a “pilot project.”

CultureFix hopes to expand the event next year if all goes well.

You’ll be able to find the Williamsburg Christmas Market in the P6 parking lot on the corner of Francis and South Boundary Street, next to CultureFix’s new office location.

It will coincide with the 2020 Grand Illumination, open for the first three weekends of December (that’s Dec. 4-6, 11-13, and 18-20) with the following hours:

  • Fridays: 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Saturdays & Sundays: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Admission is free.

“The overall goal is to bring people downtown. There won’t be many major food vendors or anything like that,” Rose said “We’re trying to get people to visit the market as well as the surrounding restaurants and businesses downtown.”

The market will still include snacks, craft beer, and warm gluhwein, as well as porcelain roses, handmade soaps and jewelry, and other holiday gifts.

It’s still early, so they are still accepting applications for vendors. Learn more and apply to become a vendor here.

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