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Christmas craft fair kicks off season at the Lake

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas… Or at least it will in Lake Cowichan after Saturday.

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas… Or at least it will in Lake Cowichan after Saturday.

That’s when the Lake Cowichan Farmer’s Market hosts its second annual Christmas At The Lake Craft Fair, and once again, vendor space filled up almost instantly.

Jenn Pollner, who sits on the market’s board of directors, said the idea came at the end of their inaugural summer market season in 2015.

“After it was done in September, all the vendors wanted to get together for a Christmas market and had thought we hadn’t had one in Lake Cowichan for quite a while now,” she said.

“Years ago the Lion’s Club used to put one on and it was really quite successful.”

This Saturday’s event kicks off a series of three similar markets around the lake, with the Honeymoon Bay Christmas Craft Fair on Nov. 19 and the Youbou Christmas Craft Fair on Nov. 26.

Pollner said the idea of a Christmas market was very popular among their vendors last year.

“We sold out right away. This year, same thing,” she said of vendor spaces in Centennial Hall (both floors), which is where the event will be held.

She added the market has attracted more than just its regular participants, and that a November market is an opportunity for craftspeople and producers with other commitments in the summer to sell their wares in fall.

There will be 40 vendors at this year’s market, some selling Christmas-themed products, although there will also be non-Christmas items too. Organizers are promoting it as a place where shoppers can find gifts for just about anybody on their holiday lists. There will be arts, crafts, food, soaps, candles, jams — “anything you can think of for a gift for someone.”

Like farmers markets throughout the province, the Lake Cowichan Farmers Market adheres to a “Make It, Bake it, Grow it” rule when it comes to products permitted for sale at its booths. Everything for sale must be handmade or grown, which means no pre-made products or items sold through multilevel marketing companies.

Pollner said the Lake Cowichan Farmers Market, which is still in its infancy, is considering the possibility of similar stand-alone markets during the off-season, although nothing is set in stone yet.

“We’ve got some ideas that instead of extending the market longer by weeks, instead do a few more things like the Christmas market where we’re able to do an individual event,” she said. “We’ve thought of doing like a ‘cabin fever’ kind of market in the early spring.”

For now though, the farmers market, still very much in its infancy, is focused on hosting an outstanding holiday event.

“It’s always nice to shop local and all of the locally made items are certainly within the Cowichan Valley if not from Cowichan Lake,” said Pollner. “It’s just always nice to support local and share those dollars within our community. And it’s a great opportunity to see what is actually made locally that we don’t even know is around.”

The Christmas At The Lake Craft Fair runs Nov. 12 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is $2 or a donation of a non-perishable food item for the food bank.

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