Now in its eighth year, this year’s Holiday Village Market will draw dozens of vendors and thousands of shoppers to Redmond’s Centennial Park on Friday & Saturday, November 28 and 29, and Saturdays, December 6 and 13, from 11am to 5pm each day.
As the holiday season approached in 2007, Redmond Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Eric Sande recalls sitting with his parents, Neil and Phyllis Sande, as they reflected on their travels through Europe. Specifically, they talked about the traditional Christmas markets they discovered in Prague and throughout Germany.
“A lot of European cities and villages host huge Christmas markets that, by selling food, crafts and other products within a distinctly old-world environment, draw local and tourists alike,” Eric Sande said. “I thought, ‘Why can’t we do the same here in Redmond?’”
And with that, 2007 marked the first year of Redmond’s annual Holiday Village Market, a European-style marketplace hosted by the Redmond Chamber of Commerce & CVB.
Shoppers will certainly come to browse the one-of-a kind crafts, products and artisan goods offered at the market, but they’ll also enjoy the atmosphere, says Redmond Chamber Events Director Karen Sande.
“Holiday Village Market is anchored by seven festive, European-styled kiosks from which vendors can sell their goods and products each day of the event,” she said. “These, along with several other vendor spaces, transform Centennial Park into a true old-world village.”
Starting the Market
Back in 2007, the inaugural Holiday Village Market featured four kiosks: a clock tower, a church, a candy store and a depot. The church and the clock tower were constructed by the Sande family “in my driveway,” said Eric Sande. The candy store was built by Able Construction, while Hayden Homes donated the time, manpower and materials to build the depot.
The 2007 Holiday Village Market took place in the Redmond Downtown Plaza, which lies next door to the Redmond Chamber of Commerce.
“Several people in the community bought into the concept of the Holiday Market Village right away, and so we had some great help getting this going the first year,” said Eric Sande. “This support has continued through the years through volunteers and sponsorships.”
Redmond High School’s advanced construction technology class stepped up to help grow the market by building and donating new schoolhouse- and post office-themed kiosks in 2008 and 2009, respectively. The high school also helped in constructing the Holiday Village Market’s seventh and final kiosk, a Norwegian cottage-themed shop, in 2011.
The year 2011 was also the year the expanding Holiday Village Market moved across the street to Redmond’s new (at the time) Centennial Park.
“That move was a natural evolution for Holiday Village Market, which was growing out of its space at the Plaza,” said Karen Sande. “Plus, Centennial Park was made for events like this. It’s been an ideal spot for us.”
2014 Holiday Market Village
In terms of participating vendors, this year will easily be Holiday Village Market’s biggest year, said Karen Sande.
“During the first weekend alone, we’ll have more than 30 vendors selling gifts and products at the Holiday Village Market – double what we had last year,” she said. “Vendors will be selling one-of-a-kind gift items from each of our kiosks, and about two dozen other crafters, artisans and vendors will be on-hand to complete the village. It’s our biggest Holiday Village Market yet.”
To date, items for sale on the first weekend of the event will include T-shirts, lotions, candles, clothing, ornaments, horse paintings, patio art, hair accessories, and knitted hats and scarves, to name just a few.
But the old-world European market scene, according to Sande, won’t be limited to vendors. Centennial Park and the area surrounding it has evolved into a traditional, hometown Christmas scene reminiscent of a Norman Rockwell painting.
“We typically host local choirs and carolers during our Holiday Village Market, and Centennial Park is also home to our annual community Christmas tree,” she said. “Plus, Redmond’s popular ice skating rink will be up and running just across the street in the Plaza, right next to the Redmond Chamber. All this creates an amazing Christmas scene – the type of scene we envisioned when we first started the Holiday Village Market eight years ago.”
The Redmond Chamber of Commerce is still accepting vendors for the 2014 Holiday Village Market’s final two days of Saturday, December 6 and 13. To learn more, contact Karen Sande at the Redmond Chamber at 541-923-5191 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.VisitRedmondOregon.com/Holiday-Village-Market.