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Market Watch: Holiday Market Premiere

The Market at the Square has officially ended. It was a very nice season, even if it got off to a cold start. The good news is that when one market closes in Urbana, another one opens! There are two winter markets to check out in Urbana, the Holiday Market and the Middle Market. Both of the winter markets are sponsored by the Urbana Business Association and are part of the eat fresh, shop local campaign. This weekend is the kick off for the Holiday Market. The Holiday Market is held indoors at Lincoln Square Mall from November 8th to December 20th from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and features a wide variety of items.

The Holiday Market features a variety of produce, crafts, and edible prepared items. Many of your favorite Market at the Square vendors also sell their wares at the Holiday Market, along with a few holiday market newbies as well. Last year, there were 74 vendors at the Holiday Market, and this year looks to be just as good. Market shoppers can find locally grown and produced items for their holiday gift-giving needs, as well as produce and prepared foods to contribute to holiday meals and treats. One of the favorite parts of the Holiday Market for many local children is that Santa stops by a few weeks before Christmas for a photo op. If you are looking for homemade holiday cookies and candies, several vendors are on hand with fresh baked items. Additionally, there are many vendors with mittens, scarves, upcycled winter clothing, toys, home décor and lot more. While in past years the Holiday Market was considerably smaller than the Market at the Square, there has been a noticeable increase in vendors at the Holiday Market the last couple of years. To see a list of vendors for the opening week of the market click here.

If you are looking for gift items for the holidays, the market has a variety of items that might work for your list. One of the biggest editions in recent years is Sleepy Creek Vineyards; they offer local wines at pretty reasonable prices. I’m curious to see if this year’s market brings any additional local wine or beer offerings. Also, for the favorite pet in your life, there will be a few vendors offering pet treats. One of my favorite things to shop for at the Holiday Market is knitted mittens, gloves and scarves. There is a variety to choose from and they have one of a kind designs you can’t find anywhere else. I also saw some very pretty upcycled skirts last year and even one vendor with some felted slippers.

There are also a variety of food vendors like Sugar by Sarah and the food trucks will be on hand, so if you are used to a Saturday morning breakfast treat, you can still stop by the market to get your favorites. I highly recommend the cake in a jar by Sugar by Sarah, it is so, so good and just right for this time of year. The market is indoors so you can take your time browsing for treats without freezing. If you have little ones on your shopping list, the selection of local toys is pretty good as well. There are sock monkeys, carved wooden toys, stuffed animals, felted animals and dolls, and much more. I can’t wait for Saturday to see what new things this year’s market will bring. If you choose to shop local this holiday season, this is a one-stop shop to get it all, and it’s even indoors! Come check out the Holiday Market—you might even get to meet Santa!

C-U at the Market!

Payment: Most vendors accept cash. A few may take personal check or credit cards, but that is less likely. There is an ATM in Lincoln Square mall in case you run short of cash.

Parking: Parking is available for free in all the lots surrounding Lincoln Square Mall.

Hours: The Holiday Market is located in Lincoln Square Mall in Urbana. It’s open Saturdays through December 20th, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For more information about the Holiday Market, check out the Urbana Business
Association website.

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