Auburn is adding a brand new Christmas event this year — The Holiday Market. All of Auburn’s Christmas events are taking place on one weekend: Santa On The Corner, the Auburn Christmas Parade (turn to page 68), holiday performances and the new event, The Holiday Market.
And all of these events combined make for one busy weekend — The Loveliest Village Holiday Fair, said Jessica Kohn, downtown coordinator for the Auburn Downtown Merchants Association.
The Holiday Market will take place Saturday, Dec. 4 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Gay Street Lot. On Sunday, Dec. 5, the market will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It will feature 40 different local vendors, Kohn said.
“This is a curated market where you’ll find fine arts, specialty gifts, vintage and handmade items, antiques, gourmet food and so much more,” she said. “That’s just one more attraction that we hope will draw people to downtown that weekend.”
The market will be taking place at the same time as the parade and Santa On The Corner, so Kohn said residents could come early and check out the market while downtown.
Sweet Homemade Alabama Christmas Show:
Kathryn Whetstone created the Sweet Homemade Alabama Christmas Show after experiencing shows herself as an artist.
“[Shows] went from art to entertainment and imported goods and it’s hard to compete against imported products and it really changes the dynamics of the show,” she said.
The Sweet Homemade Alabama Christmas Show is all handmade and all fine art, Whetstone said. There will be almost 30 artists and she chose each after considering their products. This is a jump from 2020’s 15 participating artists.
The show will be held on Dec. 11 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Art Haus in Opelika. The show will take place both inside the Art Haus building and outside. Admission is free and there will be food trucks on hand selling food.
“I treat the artists really well because I also felt like we were overlooked and a bit neglected at some shows,” she said.
One of the goals of Whetstone’s shows is to give back. So, each show also benefits a local organization.
“Artists are a very giving, loving breed for the most part,” she said. “And they’re very happy to stroke that check at the end of the day.”
The December show will benefit Women’s Hope Medical Center in Auburn. Some of its services include pregnancy testing, education, ultrasounds, prenatal care, resources and referrals for other needs, parenting classes; a fatherhood program; all these are free.
“They do so much good for this area, beyond just the women, they help the children and the families,” she said. “It’s just a wonderful organization.”
There will be all types of artists in the show — and not too many doing the same work, Whetstone said. There is an artist who works with wood, a blacksmith who makes knives and crosses, a glassworks artist, artists who work with recycled products, a weaver, a knitter, someone who marbles products like Christmas ornaments, artists who make jewelry, a man who works with leather and more.
Whetstone will be participating in the show too — she makes hand-forged and kilned silver.
“I’ve always believed in supporting the community you live in, I think it only enriches everyone’s life and I also do this show so that people realize all the talent that is around them,” Whetstone said. “Because a lot of time artists are hidden in their studio or hidden in their home and people aren’t aware of what is right at their doorstep.” Although applications are already closed for vendors for the December show, Whetstone said that any local artists who may want to join her show in June can reach out by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.