Christmas-themed market at Richmond Fairgrounds this weekend

By Charlie Senack and Jeff Morris

Manotick Messenger

Dana Anselmo and Melanie Chiarello of D&M Creations are among the vendors at the outdoor Christmas market at the Richmond Fairgrounds this weekend.

The Richmond Outdoor Market will be running again this weekend with a great forecast in store.

The market will be operating at the Richmond Fairgrounds located at 6121 Perth St, from 10am to 2pm. With the holidays just around the corner it will feature a holiday theme, perfect for picking up gifts for loved ones.

Rebecca Hanbidge is a Sergeant in the Canadian Military and also owns a farm in the Richmond community. Looking for ways to support the community during the COVID-19 pandemic, she brainstormed the idea of this market and it quickly grew.

“The market is a brainchild of mind,” she said. “A great deal of my farm customers are seniors and as the lock down lingered on, I found myself getting a bit stir crazy and worried about our local seniors who were alone and isolated. I was really motivated to do something to help the local community and make things better — especially for those people who were isolated with the lockdown.”

The market got approval to start operating in August and initially started with only nine vendors. Since then they have grown nine times in size.

This weekend’s Christmas-themed market will feature dozens of local vendors and booths from local charities including the legion which was unable to have an in-person poppy campaign this year due to COVID restrictions.

“The rest of the market has artists, authors, crafts, fabric products and knit winter hats from local vendors,” says Hanbidge. “There are wood products and a vendor from Richmond who makes life edge wood tables and cutting boards. We also have local honey producers, local farms, preserves, mustard, and take out foods. There are also ornaments and Christmas themed items.”

The market will be adhering to all the COVID-19 precautions and Hanbidge says they have been working closely in conjunction with Ottawa Public Health.

Among the vendors who will be participating is D&M Creations. Cousins Dana Anselmo and Melanie Chiarello are both educators who work in Riverside South. They got their business off the ground in May and have exceeded their expectations.

“We’ve always had a passion for crafting,” said Anselmo. “We ordered equipment just for our own use, but then loved it so much we thought we could create a small business.”

D&M has a wide range of hand-crafted signs. They are have customized wine glasses, tumblers and apparel.

Chiarello said with the restrictions on family gatherings and events, Christmas is more about family than expensive gifts this year. People are leaning toward country Christmas decor.

“People want to do what they can to support local businesses this year,” Chiarello said. “It’s a reflection of what we are going through.”

With temperatures reaching a high of 17 degrees on both Saturday and Sunday, this is a perfect time to get some early Christmas shopping done while supporting local small businesses and vendors, says Hanbidge.

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