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It's the more, the merrier for new Cobblestone District Christmas markets

New European-style Christmas markets just blocks away from one another in downtown Buffalo have found ways to collaborate, rather than compete.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — It's your last weekend to check out the two new Christmas markets in the Cobblestone District. At the conclusion of their first season, the dueling markets are helping one another create a new Buffalo holiday tradition. 

"All across Europe, they have these Christmas markets, and we wanted to give the feel of a European Christmas market here in Buffalo," Hofbräuhaus Buffalo Co-Owner Ed Arnold told 2 On Your Side. 

Ten thousand people a weekend have visited their "Christkindlmarkt" since it opened at the beginning of this month. It's a place to shop with local vendors and raise a glass (of either warm wine or hot cocoa) to the season.

"They get it in a little collector's item mug, which is common at all Christmas markets across Europe," Arnold said. "Everybody has their own style mug, and then every year it changes, so it's kind of a collector's item." 

Coincidentally, Hofbräuhaus is not the only business in Buffalo, or even the neighborhood, to introduce the idea of a European-style Christmas market this season. There is another one just two blocks away on South Park Avenue. In the spirit of Christmas, the two have decided to collaborate rather than compete. 

"People are looking to shop small this year, and we've given them not just one, but two opportunities to do so, in such a small radius," Jill Cannan, Co-Owner of Loaded Lumber, told 2 On Your Side.   

For her and her co-owner Colleen Pandy, their Buffalo Christmas Market outside their store is their little Hallmark movie come to life. When the Christkindlmarkt opened a few weeks after theirs, they said, the more the merrier. 

"Honestly, I mean, there's enough to go around for everyone, and we're really big when it comes to community over competition," Cannan said. 

Some of the vendors, such as Lori Przybysz of Hilltop Holidays, have participated in both markets. 

"It was so nice to see people sharing the two markets and we did fabulous here, and we did really wonderful over there as well," she said. "We're hearing customers say, we just were over at the Buffalo Holiday Market, it's really cool, you need to go there, and vice versa. When we were having both booths, if we sold out of something, we sent our customers to the other side."

Stefan Coker of What's Pop-In Gourmet Popcorn sees the same thing happening from his chalet. 

"We'll meet a lot of people that are over at the other market, they'll come over here, and there's so many different vendors," he said. "So you have so much variety to choose from, especially with the Christmas season." 

It's a two-for-one Christmas special, with enough spirit to fill the block. 

"We wanted to create a place for people from all over Western New York to come downtown and feel comfortable celebrating the holidays and just have a good time." 

For more information about the Hofbräuhaus Buffalo Christkindlmarkt on Scott Street, click here.

For more information about the Loaded Lumber Buffalo Christmas Market on South Park Avenue, click here.  


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