Wiscasset Holiday Marketfest starts Dec. 1

Mon, 11/27/2023 - 10:00am

    Two pop-up shops in Wiscasset Village add new gift shopping opportunities during Wiscasset Holiday Marketfest weekend, Dec. 1, 2 and 3. Filled with artisan wares, the old barn on Federal Street behind Nickels-Sortwell House provides a rustic background for a magical holiday marketplace. In the center of town, the recently vacant storefront at 78 Main St. becomes Santa’s workshop and a festive venue for regional crafters, a Christmas Cookie Challenge, and paper crafts.

    The Holiday Gift Shop in the Nickels-Sortwell barn is a single-point-of-sale shop: Shoppers make selections from multiple vendors and pay once at check-out. According to Gift Shop Coordinator Christine Hopf-Lovette, “the artisans loved this concept because they didn’t have to be on hand.” Instead, they drop off their items for sale and the stagers, “using garlands and greens and antiques that they discovered in the loft of the historic structure, respond to the items we have for sale, to create the final wonderful effect.”

    Over the last few years of Marketfest, Hopf-Lovette has seen the display in the barn become a shopping destination. “The Holiday Gift Shop is so special because our local artisans have been chosen for the quality and creativity of their products. We try to include gift items for everyone in the family.” Some favorites will be returning, including wreaths and baskets from Mindful Gardens, fine chocolates from the Chocolate Pan, weavings from Sheepscot Handwovens, cat toys and accessories from High Tail Toys, wrought iron pieces from Forge in the Ferns, and honey from Marcoux Family Farms. And new artisans making their first appearance will keep the selections fresh and surprising.

    Around the corner at 78 Main St., the storefront offers new opportunities for Marketfest activities. Marketfest planner Monique McRae coordinates Santa’s visit to Marketfest each year. “Moving Santa to 78 Main from the Creamery Pier will create a warm and fun evening on Friday (Dec. 1) with some of the same features families look forward to, like hot cocoa and other treats, but new this year, Santa will be arriving from a lighted parade of cars, trucks and ATVs, to visit with children and families.” The live and woolly sheep, a big hit last year, will be just outside the door.

    “I’m excited about 78 Main, with all that’s planned,” McRae said. “The space was vacant, and the opportunity was there to rent it for Marketfest.” She noted that having this heated space has made it possible to invite other community groups, like Partners in Education (PIE), Feed Our Scholars, and Wiscasset Area Chamber of Commerce, to have a presence all weekend. In addition, 78 Main will offer local crafters for gift shopping, a gift-wrapping station, a free raffle for local dining, and a new Christmas Cookie Challenge.

    Wiscasset Holiday Marketfest weekend, Dec. 1, 2 and 3, from 10 a.m.to 5 p.m. each day, will also feature many free activities including an outdoor wreath-making demo, horse and wagon rides, music in the gallery, wine tasting, a decorated wreath display, and a shopping extravaganza – hosted by elves – exclusively for children. Details can be found at www.WiscassetHolidayMarketfest.com

    The Major Sponsors supporting Wiscasset Holiday Marketfest’s free community activities are Carriage House Gardens, First Federal Savings & Loan, First National Bank, J. Edward Knight & Co., Jodie’s Restaurant, Midcoast Federal Credit Union, Red Bull Antiques, Red’s Eats, Rock Paper Scissors, Sherri Dunbar/Tim Dunham Realty, Water Street Kitchen & Bar, and Wiscasset Ford with additional support from BIRCH Home Furnishings & Gifts, Bradbury Art & Antiques, High Tide Printing, IndustrialME, M.W. Sewall, Old and Everlasting, Sprague’s Lobster, and Water Lily Flowers and Gifts.

    Wiscasset Holiday Marketfest is a partnership between Wiscasset Creative Alliance and Wiscasset Area Chamber of Commerce.