Edwardsville Winter Market, Dec. 3

The Edwardsville Winter Market celebrated its 10th year with baked goods, crafts, unique gifts and a festive atmosphere.

Dawn Viersvorn from Edwardsville said the winter market stands out to her more than other holiday markets because they sell a variety of items instead of only one kind. 

“This is very different, because normally, it's a lot of just food items, markets, vegetables [and] things like that,” Viersvorn said. “This is nice because you normally don't see vendors with clothing and soaps and things like that.”

Garrett Roerick from Shiloh, Illinois, said he enjoys supporting local businesses by visiting the winter market every year. He said many of the vendors he saw were selling unique, handmade items that you couldn't find anywhere else. 

“It’s a fun place to come by and look at the different things people are selling,” Roerick said. “It’s a great place to get some Christmas shopping done since everything is so unique and different from what you would find in stores.”

Roerick said the winter market felt like a friendly atmosphere and was a great community event. 

Michelle Wells from St. Louis said this is her second year selling at the winter market. She said she often attends similar events where she can try and sell her own jewelry, while also getting to see the different vendors set up. 

Wells said due to the friendly atmosphere, Edwardsville’s Winter Market is one of her favorite places to visit during the holiday season. She said people shopping in Edwardsville seem to have a great interest in supporting vendors with handmade items. 

“It's been a great experience, as this is my second year and I've done really well here,” Wells said. “You've got a lot of people here who appreciate handmade things.”

Tracy Riddle from Hamel, Illinois, has been a vendor at the Winter Market for six years. She said the community is very supportive about supporting local businesses. 

“They're very knowledgeable and they ask a lot of questions,” Riddle said. “They like to buy locally raised and locally produced things. They're very conscious about things like that.”

Riddle said Edwardsville does a great job of promoting their local producers.

“This is the biggest market that I visit and it's very welcoming and has an overall nice atmosphere,” Riddle said. 

Wells said most markets she visited are held indoors. She said despite the cold weather, she appreciates the openness an outdoor market provides.

“Even though it’s freezing outside, people are still showing up bundled up in heavy winter clothes,” Wells said. “A lot of the winter fairs are indoors, so this is a little different to me.”

Emily Hagedorn from Edwardsville, said she has been attending the Winter Market since she was a child and looks forward to it every year. 

“I love setting up and then watching the whole town come down,” Hagedorn said. “It's so fun seeing everyone dancing and coming together.”

Hagedorn said the Winter Market serves as a pleasant way to begin the holiday festivities in Edwardsville. 

“Edwardsville does a lot of really fun stuff for the holidays,” Hagedorn said. “After the Winter Market we have a tree lighting ceremony tonight, so this is a great thing to visit before and do some Christmas shopping.”

Viersvorn said the event had a great turnover and it was exciting to see people come out to support the community.

“Edwardsville has just such a huge sense of community–always has and always will,” Viersvorn said.

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