Imagine a scene from a nostalgic Christmas card, one that depicts an idyllic small town adorned and appointed for a festive holiday celebration. A colorful marketplace forms the centerpiece of this Yuletide portrait, one that offers a spectrum of artworks in every imaginable media–from paintings and drawings to handmade jewelry, sculptures, and florals to soaps, scents, and wearable art.
The market comes surrounded by festive decorations and enchanted shop windows, and embellished by the sounds of youthful performers, singing and dancing in celebration. And, of course, Santa plays a role.
This image comes to life on Dec. 5, when downtown Brooksville once again glows alight with the sights and sounds of Christmas.
The Holiday Market on Orange Avenue, kicking off the event at 5 p.m., boasts a rich tradition in the Hernando community.
“Dan & Darby, Founders of Mountaineer Coffee in Brooksville, Florida, started Orange Avenue Market in 2017. Since then, the market has grown into something this little town loves and we’re truly so excited to bring it back to town,” said Allisa Babor, owner of Roots Creative Co. and co-host of the event. “Mountaineer and Roots Creative Co. are teaming up to bring this special market full of incredibly talented artists and makers to town this December after postponing the market earlier this year due to COVID-19.”
This open-air market is intended to showcase the creative works of artists and makers, artisans, and food dealers, in this area.
“Mountaineer Coffee wanted to partner with local vendors and businesses to create a fun shopping experience in downtown Brooksville,” said Darby Pritz, who runs Mountaineer Coffee with Dan Pritz. “We’ve been enjoying Orange Avenue Market for over 3 years and love finding ways to enjoy our beautiful downtown.”
This market takes on special meaning during the holidays, where visitors are sure to discover many gift items at the market.
“The market will feature vendors of all crafts and artists of all mediums!” said Babor. “Some artists that will be attending are: senOiH (handblown glass jewelry and barware), Victoria Bilsborough (Bilsy.co – paintings and handmade clay jewelry), Gary Duquette (watercolor, wine, and coffee paintings), Joel Hernandez (Primary Paints – paintings and digital art), Ellynne Babor (Naturelly Creative – resin art and jewelry, fluid pour paintings, digital art), Carson Young (The Eternal Lantern – handcrafted glass oddities & dry terrariums) along with many more!”
Event organizers plan to place appropriate safety measures in place for this event, including social distancing and contactless payments as well as hand sanitizing stations at the event.
Aside from the market, the evening will include The Tilted Teacup Tea Room Presents: Christmas at Downtown (seating at 4, 5, 6 and 7 p.m.), Heartfelt Dinner with Santa at The Bistro, 5 p.m., Patricia’s Windows Come to Life 5:30 p.m., Christmas Dinner on Main at 6 p.m.
And at 6 p.m., Live Oak Theatre will present Live Oak Theatre Presents: Christmas on Main Street; a costumed showcase of music and dance presented by students at the Live Oak Conservatory. According to director Randi Olsen, the set will include It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas, Polar Express Medley, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bell Rock, Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!, O Holy Night, We Wish You A Merry Christmas, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, and more.
“This event is all about community,” said Babor. “We are so excited to see people downtown, enjoying the fresh air, shopping small, and making memories with their friends and family after a tough year. We will be providing hand sanitizer stations and encouraging guests to socially distance for the safety and enjoyment of everyone involved.”
Those with questions about the market can write [email protected] or on Instagram @orangeavenuemarket.