DeKalb County artisans display holiday cheer at annual winter farmers market
DeKALB – Vendors and patrons experienced a welcoming community atmosphere Saturday at the annual winter farmers market.
The event, held at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of DeKalb, opened for its 11th annual season Saturday, and featured more than 20 artisans and farmers from the area, including Hasselmann Family Farm, Handsome Dog Studios, Spice Carnation Creations, Rose and Moon Art, Classic Books of DeKalb, Garden Jewels, Orn La Handcrafted Jewelry and St. Roger Abbey. The event also featured live musicians playing traditional holiday music.
Vendors said one of the highlights was the community feel that the event offers.
Deb Askelson, a local wellness coach, said she has been involved with the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship for
30 years, and this event is something she has been involved in for several years.
“It’s community,” Askelson said. “The people who come, as well as the other vendors – they’re friends.”
Other vendors agreed that the winter farmers market was a welcoming place to meet new people and reconnect with patrons from previous years.
“I’ve been coming here for the past five years,” said Michaela Holtz, owner of Naturally Mod Handmade Designs of DeKalb. “I get to see the same people, and it’s nice to be able to talk to them. I love this annual community gathering. I actually look forward to it.”
Holtz said that from a business standpoint, the winter farmers market serves as a marketplace for her to sell her homemade designs.
“The other thing for me as a crafter is to share the work that I’ve made,” Holtz said.
Providing a public marketplace for local farmers and artisans to sell their products was one of the goals 11 years ago in opening the first winter farmers market at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, founder Dan Kenney said.
“My main motivation in starting it was to help local farmers and local artisans,” Kenney said. “[They] need to have a marketplace to sell their goods. The goal was to support the local economy.”
Kenney said the event also provides vendors and patrons with a place to gather.
“This is a place where people can get together,” Kenney said, “and have a sense of community.”
Kenney said that about eight to 10 vendors were present within the first season of the event, but hosts for the current season expected about 25 to 30 vendors. Patrons enjoyed the growth in the number of local vendors and the opportunities that the event offered.
“We like to come every year,” said Allison Maurer, 41, of DeKalb. “I like to support local artists. It’s got a really great community feel.”
Maurer said she enjoyed being able to buy products from local vendors, and see the community of people that gathered at the event.
Diane Lash, 58, of DeKalb said the event also provided a festive holiday feel for both patrons and vendors.
“It’s wonderful,” Lash said. “It’s great. ... It gets you in the holiday mood.”
The 11th annual winter farmers
market season will continue with a
second event Feb. 9 at the Unitarian
Universalist Fellowship of DeKalb,
158 N. Fourth St.