BUFFALO, N.Y. — There's a new option for holiday shopping in Western New York this year, which is taking shape in a parking lot outside of a business in Buffalo's Cobblestone District.
Outside of Loaded Lumber at 223 South Park Avenue near Michigan Street, there are 30 of wooden sheds designed in the motif of chalets, which will be the centerpiece of a European style holiday market, which opens on Friday, November 26 and runs through December 23.
"We had a bunch of vendors that were ready to just jump right in and join us and make this a reality," said Jill Cannan, co-owner of Loaded Lumber and one of those who worked to create the market.
The market is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 3 p.m. until 9 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 12 p.m. until 9 p.m. Admission to the Christmas Market is free.
Despite the ongoing pandemic, Cannan thought the time was ripe to try the concept, modeled on the long-established and highly popular European Christmas markets, here in Buffalo.
"There is a different need this year to shop local, and to support local businesses, and to invest the money back into Buffalo, where it belongs," said Cannan, who also believes the concept resonates with those making purchasing decisions.
She points to the success this past summer of a outdoor market for local artisans and craftspeople which was set up on the same site.
And for the pandemic-conscious, she notes this is also an outdoor venue.
"That's why we saw success over the summer because it is outdoors, it is safe, and people are looking for something safe that they can come to," she said.
"We're looking forward to this," said Mike DiTonto, the owner of Ten Thousand Vines Winery, and who is one the many local vendors who've signed on to sell products at the market.
"I had the great fortune many years ago to visit some of the markets in Eastern Europe, and I've always wanted to participate in something like this," said DiTondo, who also believes the synergy between the market and events at the nearby KeyBank Center, Canalside, and Hofbräuhaus restaurant will create an opportunity to attract new customers to his business, which is based in Hamburg.
"It's an opportunity for us to to get in front of some folks that maybe we wouldn't see otherwise," he said.
Believing in Buffalo
Along with unique gift opportunities, Cannan says the market will provide many holiday-themed activities, such as carriage rides for families to enjoy, and dining options from local restaurateurs.
"We're hoping that this will magical," she said. "And with everything we've taken a chance with in Buffalo, the community has shown amazing support."
For information on the Buffalo holiday market click here.