This past Sunday, the annual “Holidays at the Market” kicked off at Rochester’s renowned Public Market. Those who enjoy shopping for their fruits and veggies here throughout the summer will also enjoy all of the features of these unique holiday events.
The first of three events kicked off on Nov. 29, with a visit from Santa, carriage rides, and shopping for crafts, decorations, and Christmas trees.
The next two Sundays, Dec. 6 and Dec. 13, will feature other attractions for Rochester-area residents of all ages.
“At first I thought it wasn’t going to be a busy weekend, but all of a sudden people started coming from everywhere,” said Maxine Ashford, a Rochester resident who has been selling her holiday crafts at the market for 20-plus years. “It’s really crowded and they’re looking at my table. I really like that.”
Another vendor shared Ashford’s enthusiasm for the event. Tim Hoxie, owner of Fulton’s Hoxie Farms, was there selling Christmas trees. He isn’t new to the market, as he sells flowers and produce throughout the year at the Rochester Public Market. He says hauling his trees from Syracuse is worth it for this event.
“Next week and the week after will be the peak,” Hoxie said.
SueEllen Dorr, an artist from Greece who sells her ornaments at the market, says that the turnout is always great no matter what. “It doesn’t matter — rain, snow, sleet, hail — they’re always here,” she told the Democrat and Chronicle.
Aaron Alma brought his children to the event, saying that his mother-in-law Patti Crawford had suggested it as a fun day for the kids. He added that the good weather was a key factor in the family coming out, since he would be too busy running his plowing business if the city had snow. He appreciates that the event gave him a day to spend with his children.
Among the many tables set up at the market, unique and beautiful gifts can be found. Debbie Mattle drove in from Darien in Genesee County to offer her lighted ceramic, miniature Christmas trees. She has been making them for nearly 15 years, and saw Holidays at the Market as the perfect opportunity to bring her gift to Rochester.
She says she got her own love for the tiny ceramic trees when she was younger and attending the Erie County Fair with her father.
“I was just admiring the tree. I never was hinting around,” that she wanted one, Mattle recalled. But that Christmas she received one from her father, who was in a wheelchair.
“That meant he had to find somebody to take him to the fair to go get me that tree,” said Mattle, who turns 60 on Christmas Day. “It was one of the (most) memorable gifts of my life.”
After her father gifted her the tree, she decided to start making them on her own. Each one takes weeks for her to finish, but she says it’s worth it to gift them to family and friends.
Other offerings at the event are produce, candy, and gifts. There were also gifts and flowers available throughout the day. Research suggests that those who buy flowers are viewed as more successful, caring, and emotionally intelligent people, making them a great purchase any season.
Not everything is holiday-themed, either.
Anthony Road Wine Company, of Seneca Lake, will have a selection of wines available. One of the most anticipated wines is the New York Yankees Reserve Dry Riesling, which is the result of a partnership between the winery and one of the most famous sports teams in the world. It’s been sold at Yankees games for the last year.
“I’d be willing to bet you’ll pay a lot more (for the wine) at Yankee Stadium than here,” said Mike Maloney, who works for the winery.
For more information on the next two dates for Holidays at the Market, visit the City of Rochester website and click on “Holidays at the Market.”