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Christmas to come in July at farmers market

The Windsor Farmers Market, put on by the Isle of Wight Community Foundation, will be bringing a midsummer taste of the holiday season to those in the area by holding a Christmas in July event July 30.

The free, open-to-the-public event will be held from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the market’s standard location — Old Point National Bank, located at 11407 Windsor Blvd.

There will be opportunities for free pictures with Santa Claus, and those in attendance will also have the opportunity to sing Christmas carols with him. John Bradford is a professional Santa and will be filling the role for the event.

A flyer promoting the occasion also indicates there will be “free goodies and more.”

“We have Christmas-themed crafts for the kids,” Windsor Farmers Market Manager Mischelle Goodman said. “We will also have Snow King Snowballs there as well.”

She noted the idea for the event was born out of the collaboration that exists among the market managers in the area, including those managing markets in Smithfield, Carrollton, Franklin, Surry and Suffolk.

“We all work together to promote the markets, and we share vendors, and it’s a really good group of people that get together and help each other out,” Goodman said. “Teresa Frantz, who does the Smithfield and Carrollton market, mentioned a couple of events that they were doing, and one of them was Christmas in July. And we thought that that would be a really fun and good event to bring to the Windsor market as well.”

She said the primary goal of the event is to get people out to the market to see what its vendors have to offer and to connect the farmers that are growing produce with the people in the area that can use that produce.

“We’re always trying to think of ways to get people’s attention and promote the market,” she said. “So I thought this was a really fun one, and it’s geared a little bit more toward families because they’re the ones that have more mouths to feed.”

Goodman stated the market is a great community event.

“We see community being built while we’re out there,” she said. “People pick up their friends and come to the market, or they meet someone at the market and they shop together, and they get a chance to chit-chat with the vendors and see what’s growing and how to prepare the things that are growing now.”

She noted people also talk to the craft vendors, asking for insights on how to make things and also offering their thoughts on likes and dislikes.

“We see a lot of that happening, and we just want to keep it going,” she said.

Goodman indicated that she and her staff do not necessarily try to raise money through the market.

“It’s definitely viewed as a not-for-profit, but any extra money that we have from sponsorships or the fees that the vendors pay goes towards the scholarships for the (Isle of Wight) Community Foundation.”

For more information on the Christmas in July event or the Windsor Farmers Market, email windsorvafarmersmarket@gmail.com.