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Christmas season begins in downtown Newton
Newton's annual Christmas Market marks the start of the local holiday season.
With Thanksgiving break approaching and finals on the horizon, Newton’s Christmas events have begun with its annual Christmas Market, a tradition with 35 years of precedent. This event is hosted by the Newton Recreation Commission and draws 59 local vendors all to one place.
“Our Christmas Market has a wide variety of crafts, from t-shirts, resin work, woodwork, jewelry, Scentsy, freeze-dried candy, soaps, lotions, and so much more,” said Program Director Candice Egizi-Sifuentez. “If you are looking for gifts for Christmas or something just for you, you are sure to find something. We will even have a massage therapist this year, along with some yummy lunch that can be purchased from C’Maries ICT Creole Kitchen.”
The Christmas Market is working hard to keep up with what’s popular in Newton. This includes allowing some direct sale storefronts, like Scentsy, with limitations. “Around ten years ago we started to take direct sale vendors, limited to one per company,” Egizi-Sifuentez shared. While direct sales are a debated topic online, they are a popular source of income in places like Newton.
Christmas is taking over downtown Newton, with stores already decked out in lights. All of this is in preparation for Taste of Christmas, hosted by the Newton Chamber of Commerce. While they happen the same week, the Christmas Market and the Taste of Christmas are not connected. However, the two events provide an immersive holiday experience downtown.
“[Taste of Christmas] does bring in the participants for this activity, where most will stay to shop or come back to shop … if they come on Thursday or Friday for the Taste of Christmas,” Egizi-Sifuentez added. She has been hosting the Christmas Market for two years but has worked for the Newton Recreation Commission for nineteen.
Beyond Christmas gifts and crafts, the Christmas Market advertises several different door prizes, homemade baked goods, decor, merch, safety keychains, art, home-canned vegetables, and more.
Egizi-Sifuentez commented that she has “been shopping this event for 19 years and I just love the Christmas environment. Of course, the vendors are always friendly, so it is fun to talk with them about their products. My 11-year-old daughter has come with me to shop every year since she was born. She always looks forward to seeing all the crafts and must buy a few things that she likes.” Egizi-Sifuentez concluded that the event “is a must-shop for all ages.”
The Christmas Market was held on Saturday in the downtown Newton Recreation Center.