By Jay Burford
On Sunday, November 14, 2021, I drove north to attend the Carling Christmas Market being held that day, and to close our cottage later in the week. We had left the closing of the cottage in the hope -weather permitting – of being able to attend the Christmas Market.
As I drove by the Community Centre I was impressed with the amount of traffic. Cars were parked in a long line on West Carling Bay Road and on both sides of Highway 559. The parking lots were all full; however, the helpful members of the Carling Volunteer Fire Department were on hand to ensure the safe flow of traffic in and out, as the many shoppers arrived to enjoy the market.
My daughter Jessica came over from the island in Loon Bay to meet me at the Blind Bay Dock and we proceeded to the Carling Community Centre. The market was indeed popular, in part I am sure, because of the promise of 50+ vendors attending the event.
As we approached the buildings the whole area was full of activity. A photo with Santa in his workshop was set up in front of the Township Offices and right beside that was a large bus with staff operating the mobile vaccination clinic (a great idea to have it in attendance at this function).
There were vendors in front of the rink, including one mobile walk-in trailer to allow shoppers to see the display inside of clothing on sale. A delightful group of young people were stationed at the front entrance of the rink to remind everyone to sign in and to use hand sanitizer. The floor of the rink was packed with festive booths and displays. There were hand made crafts, paintings, jewelry, food items, books, information centres, photos, soaps, candles, iron work, and much more. Passion was palpable, as each vendor spoke eloquently about his/her products and was keen to connect with the shoppers. Many of the gifts you could wish to put under the Christmas tree for others, or to find there for yourself, were available.
Hot food and drinks were being prepared in front of the Community Centre. The aroma of the French fries was everywhere and they were so popular that they sold out quickly. However, there were a number of other items available and no one went hungry.
There was lots of good cheer and energy throughout, spilling right out into the parking lot and onto the roadways as people wished each other a very Merry Christmas. The Carling Christmas Market was a great way to start the holiday season and have the Christmas spirit instilled. It was a wonderful outing and Jessica and I sang Christmas carols (with me off key) all the way back to the island. We are looking forward to future Carling Christmas Markets.