Those looking for a unique holiday gift can head to Millville this weekend, when the Town of Millville will hold its First Annual Holiday Market, to offer area residents the chance to get a jump of their holiday shopping.
“I was up at the Department of Agriculture in the spring, for the kickoff meeting for the farmers’ markets. Everyone in the state of Delaware who’s part of the farmers markets goes to this meeting,” explained Debbie Botchie, Millville’s town manager. “During the discussions, I heard some other folks from other towns saying, ‘Last year, we extended our farmers’ market into the end of November.’ Some of them had them Thanksgiving weekend, and some of them had them in December, as a holiday market.
“So, the light bulb went off and I started mulling around,” she continued, “started doing some research on the other towns and what exactly was involved in a holiday market.”
After gaining approval from the town council, Botchie began planning the event, which she said is in partly a thank-you to the vendors who have supported the town over the years.
“It’s free to all of our vendors,” Botchie explained. “Part of it is because the majority of our vendors have supported our Pumpkin Festival and Farmers Market. It’s basically a big thank-you.”
The Holiday Market will be held on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the lot adjacent to town hall.
“Food will be sold throughout the day. The Indian River JROTC are selling hotdogs. The IR Cross Country Boosters are doing homemade soups. There’ll be homemade candies and baked goods for sale, too.”
The market will have 18 vendors offering homemade wares ranging from jewelry to purses to hand-painted glassware and more. Lord’s Landscaping will also be at the market, selling handmade wreaths and garland to help ensure shoppers homes are decorated beautifully for the season.
“We’ll have local artisans and businesses. That’s what it’s all about — keeping it local.”
Botchie is also asking those who attend to bring nonperishable food items to donate.
“The Millville Volunteer Group will be collecting nonperishable food items for the Delaware Food Bank.”
Attendees may also enjoy entertainment by local musicians. At 11 a.m. a group from the Millville United Methodist Church will perform, followed by Mike Givens of Monkee Paw at noon, then Gina DiNubile accompanied by Woody Nasteff at 1 p.m.
The market will be on a smaller scale than the town’s annual Great Pumpkin Festival, but Botchie said it’s a perfect event for the season.
“These are vendors coming in with wares to sell for Christmas gifts,” she noted. “Some of the vendors will be doing activities for the kids. M&T Bank will be here and have a table where the kids will have the chance to decorate pretzel sticks, dip them in the chocolate and put different goodies on them.”
She added that, due to Santa’s busy holiday schedule, he couldn’t get away from the North Pole to visit, but he is sending some trusted friends to visit with the kids who attend.
“Since Santa is so busy at the North Pole, we will have some elves here. The little kiddies who attend will be getting a snowman ornament kit that they can take home and put together themselves.”
Botchie said that community members are excited about the market.
“I’ve spoken to several residents and asked them how they feel about this type of community event, and they loved it. With events like these, you have most of your people who come from Millville, but it’s amazing all of the people who come from surrounding areas.”
Botchie said that, as the event grows in future years, the Town hopes to eventually add a tree-lighting ceremony.
“The initial thought was to actually incorporate it into a tree-lighting ceremony at the end of the market. However, due to the construction and whatnot on Route 26, we really didn’t know where we could place a large tree,” she said. “Hopefully, it will grow to the point where we can have a larger event.”
Botchie said she hopes the market is well-attended by the community, to show support for local vendors during the holiday season.
“It’s just another hometown event,” she said. “I’m always optimistic that, if you build it, they will come.”
Millville Town Hall is located at 36404 Club House Road in Millville. For more information, call (302) 539-0449 or visit www.millville.delaware.gov.