Event POSTPONED to: Sunday Dec 11 (12-6pm)
The push to shop local is more than a trend – it’s a necessity for an economically and culturally rich community. By supporting local artists, artisans and small business owners, a community makes it possible for its creatives to stay, thrive, and continue contributing their talents. This Sunday, community members in Cornelius and the surrounding areas can show their support by participating in the second annual Christmas in Cornelius Local Artisan Market.
Hosted by Bella Love, Old Town Cornelius’ arts and cultural support system, the market brings together more than 75 vendors and several thousand community members at Oak Street Mill, 19725 Oak St. As part of its mission to plan and promote arts and culture in Cornelius, the organization plans multiple artisan markets throughout the year, including the ‘Tawba Walk Arts and Music Festival, the Second Friday Festival, and Laketoberfest, all with the aim of bringing together the inspiring and inspired people that live and work here.
“We received so much positive feedback, both from the vendors and the patrons of our local artisan markets, that launching a Christmas-themed market just made sense,” Bella Love Event Coordinator Jess Boye said. She and Founder Case Warnemunde planned the first Christmas in Cornelius last year, with about 50 local vendors and about 1,500 attendees. This year, they expect attendance to double, with even more vendors, more performances from local music, dance, and school groups, a visit with Santa, and tons of food and drinks available from a small fleet of food trucks and Bayne Brewing Company.
“It is fantastic to have the support of individuals like Case and Jess who dedicate their time and energy to creating these events, thus allowing small business and local artisans to continue creating,” Laurie Schorr said. She is a local photographer, teacher and glass artist with Southlight Studio who will participate in Sunday’s market.
Events like the artisan market further the goals of Bella Love’s aptly named initiative, Old Town Cornelius, because they create spaces of concentrated arts and cultural offerings that draw community members together in support of the unique elements that define their community.
“By participating in multiple events that [Bella Love] has sponsored I have met some amazing people and acquired some pretty amazing customers as well,” said Shelley Regis. She owns The Aroma Owl, and makes all natural body products and aromatherapy items. “I feel that they really love and appreciate all kinds of art which makes an artisan like myself smile.”
Though just in its second year, the Christmas in Cornelius Local Artisan Market is a tradition already, and one that will continue, Boye said.
“When you hear people reminiscing about the time they first learned of a new local artist, or were first introduced to a new local performer, that’s what we consider success,” she said. “These people make up the fabric of our local community and we are all connected through our shared experiences in it.”
About the contributor:
Christina is a local multimedia content producer and digital strategist. Formerly the editor of CorneliusNews.net, she is thrilled to work with the OTC team to once again help tell the ever-evolving Cornelius story. She lives nearby with her husband, Nate, and a small menagerie of 2- and 4-legged beasties.