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Mistletoe + Merlot draws a crowd to the Aiken County Historical Museum

December 7, 2018

Hundreds of people flooded into the Aiken County Historical Museum on Thursday night for Mistletoe + Merlot Holiday Shopping Market, the Aiken Standard’s newest holiday tradition.

The event featured 70 local vendors, many of whom specialize in crafting handmade goods.

“It’s for people to get ahead on holiday shopping,” said Diane Daniell inside sales and special projects manager with the Aiken Standard, who helped organize the event. “And to bring the vendors together. Aiken has a lot of talent…it’s to bring everyone together under one roof.”

At the last count, Aiken Standard employees reported selling over 472 tickets for the event.

“We were overwhelmed by the response from the community on the vendor aspect, and by the attendees,” said Daniell.

Rosie Handcock of Rosie’s Crafts said markets like Mistletoe + Merlot are good for promoting small businesses.

“It helps keep everything in the community,” said Handcock, who was selling handmade holiday wreaths.

Visitors enjoyed snacks and drinks while they browsed stands loaded with Christmas decorations, glass jewelry, books, clothes, food and more. There was even a makeup and massage station set up in part of the museum.

“I’m here for this wreath,” said Twyla Stewart, who stopped by Handcock’s stand. “I didn’t like the wreath I had.”

Stewart said she had been excited for the event, and had purchased tickets several weeks in advance.

Mistletoe + Merlot was sponsored by David Stinson with Keller Williams Realty.

“We believe the Aiken Standard provides good coverage for the community,” Stinson said on his reason for sponsoring the event.

As a Realtor, Stinson believes good coverage is vital for the business. “Aiken sells itself, as long as word gets out,” Stinson said.

Souvenir wine glasses given away during the event were sponsored by Vikki’s.

“We would like them returned to Vikki’s,” said Vikki Woody, the boutique’s owner. ”…Return your glass to Vikki’s, and we’ll give a coupon in exchange.”

The event was held in conjunction with Night of 1,000 Lights in downtown Aiken.

Mistletoe + Merlot will become an annual holiday event. Check back with the Aiken Standard next year for ticketing and vendor information.

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