Mahurangi residents eager to find that ideal Christmas gift will have the perfect opportunity in Warkworth on Saturday, December 14.
The Warkworth Town Hall Christmas Market will kick off at 10am and Warkworth retailers will add to the razzamatazz by setting out stalls in front of their own shops, offering special discounts on the day and extending their opening hours.
The Christmas market follows on from the highly successful Christmas Gift Fayre, which ran for the first time last year.
Town Hall coordinator Alex Hayward says once again the market will feature beautiful handmade gifts from local artisans and will be even bigger and better than last year.
Among the items on offer will be etchings, locally designed clothes, candles, paintings, oils, soaps, jewellery, pottery, beeswax wraps and perfumes.
Alex says the market is a socially responsible way to shop for Christmas.
“Nothing is plastic. Everything is handmade – the kind of gift that you would want to receive yourself.
All the stallholders are local people,” she says.
This year there will be an expanded food court in the rear carpark, featuring hot food trucks and ice cream and coffee vendors. The area will be furnished with tables, bean bags and umbrellas to create a family-friendly ambience.
To add to the festive atmosphere, there will be carols from the Kowhai Singers, more Christmas music from the Town Hall’s new sound system, Santa Claus will be back again and there will be face painting for children.
The market runs from 10am to 2pm.
Alex says it is great to see other retailers participating on the day. Rather than seeing them as competing with the market, she says it will bring more people into town and is a great example of businesses supporting other businesses.
“If everything is open it completely changes the atmosphere for the better,” she says.
One Warkworth Business Association manager Murray Chapman says the decision to make a special effort on December 14 follows a poll on the One Warkworth Facebook page, which showed 67 per cent of respondents preferred to see better shopping experiences during the day, rather than late-night shopping.
He says with all that will be going on, December 14 will be a day that people will want to come to town.