There was a stampede in Millarville recently. You've had to see it to believe it.
Never have we seen the entrance to a famous market so jam-packed as it was at this year's fair. Some say the line of cars stretched all the way to edge of the Calgary city limit.
Luckily, with an exclusive invite from Lisa and her team, we made it to the front of the line on Friday 10 November. The plan was to meet some of this year's unique and new Christmas craft vendors as we kicked off our Christmas event coverage for 2017. We were pleasantly surprised with what we found.
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The Millarville Christmas Market was established in 1988 and is one of the premier craft and artisan shows in Alberta. It takes place on an early weekend of every November. The good thing about the market is the abundance of parking surrounding the grounds with free transportation into the event. This means that you don't have to carry all your shopping to your car, which is essential. You can expect to do a lot of shopping. Help is always welcome.
The Christmas market is not just a reincarnation of the very popular Millarville Farmers' Market. It is it something quite unique, stocked with more than the usual vendor mix we've become accustomed to. Lisa and her team added ample activities to distract from the sensory overload typical of these festivities. There is something for the entire family to eat, see and do. Be prepared to spend the whole day with the good people of the market going through the familiar rhythm of a Christmas event like meeting Santa, feeding the Cariboo (Reindeer) finding your children and losing your paycheck.
We love markets because there is always a surprise. The surprise comes when you talk to the vendors and learn more, not only about their products but about their motivation and passion for their work. There is always a story that needs to be discovered and shared.
This time, we discovered black garlic, a creative take on toilet plungers, met a legendary Blacksmith from Nanton, bought Italian marinated street food, tasted Alberta mustard and cheese, found oil for our beards and shared more laughs than we can remember.
The best part of our market experience is not discovering the unique and well-crafted goods of our artisans. It is the opportunity to spend the time to share the good cheer with our people, that comes with the celebration of the Christmas season's arrival.
That is why we love our markets and our people
Hendrik van Wyk
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