Something Special

Photo courtesy of Nancy Erickson

Fused-glass jewelry by Nancy Erickson.

Holiday Market returns to Salem for the second year.

Homemade crafts and local delicacies always make great gifts, and in Salem, shoppers searching for these perennial favorites can find wares from more than 70 regional sellers at this year’s Salem Holiday Market. The craft show debuted in 2019 and makes its second season bright on Dec. 12 with new and returning vendors and artists.

On sale this year are works of fused glass by Nancy Erickson, whose colorful art is fired in her home studio; Bavarian glazed nuts from “the Nutty Couple,” Roger and Vickie Sanders; candle melts, snowmen wreaths, and wooden puzzles from Missy Gifts; and rhyming children’s books by author M.R. Hooley.

Admission to the holiday market is free, but shoppers are encouraged to contribute to the food drive held at the event. The Salem/Roanoke County Food Bank is looking for nonperishable food items, such as peanut butter, boxed pasta, canned vegetables, and spaghetti sauce.

Bonnie Ferguson started the Salem Holiday Market with her husband, Tim, and their friends Jeannie Davis and Robert Chelak. Together, their goal is to organize a good show for vendors that helps sell local goods and keeps customers happy.

“We are so excited to be hosting the Salem Holiday Market again this year,” says Ferguson. “Our vendors are looking forward to it. It has been a tough year for small businesses. Please come out and shop local. You will find unique gifts that you will never find at the mall.”

The host and organizers have adjusted their operations this year to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The number of vendors is smaller than in 2019, both to promote social distancing and to prevent overcrowding the Salem Civic Center’s coliseum arena and annex. The city’s events management team says they’re following state-sanctioned health precautions by regularly sanitizing surfaces, requiring masks, providing hand sanitizer stations, and spacing out vendor booths and tables. Wendy Delano, director of the civic center, says that shoppers will have plenty of room in the aisles, but that they will be closely monitoring the number of simultaneous visitors.

This article originally appeared in our October 2020  issue.

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