Woman’s Club expands Christmas Market

  • The festivities are expanding to a second weekend for the DWC Christmas Market.
    The festivities are expanding to a second weekend for the DWC Christmas Market.

The Dahlonega Woman’s Club’s (DWC) Christmas Market expanded to two weekends this year to provide Christmas shoppers with one-of-a-kind, perfect gifts for just about everyone on their list.
All sorts of hand made toys, apparel, jewelry, art and homemade goodies from Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen, plus custom made gift baskets are ready for the two-weekend Christmas Market on Candy Cane Lane—otherwise known as The Community House on North Park Street.
When the event began 10 years ago vendors were hard to find, said Donna Brown, Christmas Market Committee member. “We walked through festivals and Gainesville events to try to find people who made handmade goods,” she said.
“We didn’t want things that were being resold. We wanted original arts and crafts, made as close to local as we could get,” said Brown.
“It was hard to find anyone who wasn’t either commercial or already committed. Now we’re overrun with people who want to be a part of the market,” said committee chair Brita Borden. “That’s why we had to go to two weekends.”
In fact, there are so many vendors selling different items that sellers will be different each weekend.
“We have a total of 32 people, and only four will be there both weekends,” Borden said.
Knit and crochet scarves and other wear, as well as crocheted small animals will be on display. The animals are one of the most popular items each year, Borden said. “Joanne Stevenson makes them all year long and sells out every year at the Market.”
“She makes animals, characters, baby dolls, Star Wars figures—all sorts of things,” Richards said.
Quilts; pottery; wood turned art; jewelry; wreaths; all kinds of artwork, from folk to water color to oils will be on display.
A special “bejeweled” art—pictures created by Betty Petrie from all sorts of glittery items such as old costume jewelry, ribbon and other items will also be available, as well as artwork from the high school’s art classes on the second weekend.
Another unique vendor, Bobby Bearden, makes yard art out of old shovels, rakes and other yard tools, turning them into birds, frogs and other animals.
The 32 vendors do not include what DWC members contribute to the market. The ladies solicit donations from local merchants to make unique gift baskets. They also bake holiday goodies and make candy that is for sale in Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen.
“Some of the baskets are themed, to appeal to people with particular interests,” committee member Joan Richards said. “We might have a basket for men with a coupon for a haircut, shirts and other things that would appeal to men; a spa basket; or one for pets. And we have small $10 baskets to use as a hostess gift with holiday napkins, candles and things.”
“Members get  together during our ‘Crafternoon’ sessions several times during the year to create craft items to sell at the Christmas Market. During our final Crafternoon in November we make the outfits to embellish holiday chocolate bars. Many of our customers love to purchase enough to have as favors for holiday events,” Borden said.
Money earned from booth fees, plus Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen, gift baskets, and any crafts made by DWC members, all goes into grants and gifts to the community. In the past club donations helped buy books and children’s computers for the library; support art, drama and the band at the high school; and to various local charities.
“We try to assess the needs and put the money where it needs to go,” Brown said.
“We don’t want to be a line item in anyone’s budget,” added Borden.
Parking, always a premium close to the square, will not be a problem this year, Borden said. “The shuttle will pick people up and deliver them to downtown and back to the university’s parking deck. Parking is also available in the lot behind the Community House."