Millarville Christmas Market brings the holiday spirit home

The annual Millarville Christmas Market fired up again for an indoor and outdoor family shopping experience, from Nov. 9-12.

Since starting in 1988, the event has grown to be widely popular, with as many as 15,000 people from the Calgary and southern Alberta area attending throughout the weekend.

The event is hosted by the Millarville Racing and Agricultural Society, which has more than 300 members and 300 volunteers and is a showcase for Alberta vendors, artisans and farmers.

Saskatoon berry growers Rick and Marsha Gelowitz, owners of Solstice Berry Farm, in Cremona, Alta. planned to show off this season’s fresh berry products like jams, pies and juice.

Solstice Berry Farm is located next to their home. There, the Gelowitz’s produce quality berries for U-pick and farmers markets.

Marsha Gelowitz offers tastings of their jams, juices and vinaigrettes at the market.

“It’s a classic for a lot of Canadians, especially on the Prairies. The Saskatoon jam is for sure the most popular buy this year, with the syrup close behind,” she said.

Another event planned this year was the all-day glass blowing, by the Glass House Collective, an artisan group that operates the only mobile glass blowing studio in Canada.

Mandy Patchin and Kai Scholefield planned to create different types of glass pieces to show off their art.

Patchin’s end goal is a trip across North America to showcase her art. That trip is currently being crowd funded.

“We want to educate as many people as we can about the art of glassblowing,” said Patchin.

Mandy Patchin and Kai Scholefield showcase their glass-blowing skills at Holiday Market in Millarville on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. Patchin and Scholefield operate Glass House Collective, Canada’s first mobile glassblowing studio. (Photo by Olivia Burns/The Press)

The kids-only shopping tent permits children ages 12 and under to choose from more than 1,000 items, priced under $10, and have them gift-wrapped for Christmas.

Profits from the kids-only tent are put back into the community, with equal shares going to the five local schools to support their hot lunch programs, as well as a local family in need for the holidays.

The market features many artisan home-made crafts like paintings, jewellery, glass, woodwork, leathers and a variety Christmas decorations.

Many of the regular summer farmers’ market vendors sell candy, fudge, nuts, meat and baked goods.

About Olivia Burns 3 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Olivia Burns worked as a reporter for The Press during the 2017-18 academic year.