Holiday Road

A rundown of artisanal markets to wear your mask to this holiday season.

Yes, Virginia, you can still shop local for the holidays.

Of course, Amazon has made bank off us since the pandemic started, and that is only going to grow exponentially during the holidays. So now that it’s officially gift-giving season, we think it’s an ideal time to give back to local artists and artisans who could really use the support. Because without the artistic community, what is Richmond?

If you’re a holiday shopper who prefers shopping with a craft beer or hard seltzer in hand, the Artisan Market at Main Line Brewery is for you. Organizers are bringing together an array of local artisans selling handmade items – home decor, art, jewelry and apparel –against a backdrop of live music, making for a satisfying way to shop local this season while also getting a little lubrication for the holiday spirit. Please note: Even though this is an outdoor event, make no mistake: Masks are required for entry.

The Artisan Market is held Sunday, Nov. 22, from 1-4 p.m. at Main Line Brewery, 1603 Ownby Lane.

Head over to Scott’s Addition for Studio Two Three’s annual Winter Print Fair, a fabulous place to find distinctive and affordable local art for everyone on your gift list. In nonpandemic years, the Print Fair was a wild and wondrous three-day event, notable for its friendly crowds and the range of art available. But this is 2020, so Studio Two Three has put together a safer way to shop, using its event space as the home for the Winter Market and extending those three days to a month. This way, everyone can shop for art while staying safely distanced and masked as they check out hundreds of works created by a bevy of local artists just waiting to adorn your gift recipient’s home or office. Really cool stuff here.

Studio Two Three Winter Market runs Nov. 28 – Dec. 24 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Studio Two Three, 3300 W. Clay St.

Long-timers may recall when the Bizarre Market Holiday first set up shop upstairs at Chop Suey Books way back in 2004. Since then, the multiformat handcraft market has been featuring the work of local makers, artists, designers, elves and sorceresses. This year continues that handmade tradition, 2020 style. On display and for sale will be the handiwork of 45 local makers offering a wealth of items such as ceramics, artisan housewares, jewelry, toys, plantware, accessories skin-care goods and lots more for everyone on your list.

One new twist is that there are two ways to shop: either online or in person by private appointment for a 30-minute slot, where you’ll have the handmade goodness all to yourself, unless you choose to bring one friend. Another change is that the Bizarre Market Holiday takes place at Richmond Young Writers on Cary Street, just east of Carytown.

Bizarre Market Holiday 2020 runs Nov. 21-22, Nov. 27-29, Dec. 4-6, Dec 11-13 and Dec. 18-21, Saturdays 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., other days noon – 6 p.m. at 2307 W. Cary St. To book a private shopping appointment, visit…/33VYWZ…/bizarre-market-richmond-va.

Even if you’re shopping only for yourself, the Yule Witch Market, a collaboration between RVA Witches Unite and Diversity Richmond, is bound to be a one-of-a kind experience. Calling itself a mischievous market, this event includes some of the city’s most unorthodox vendors who will be offering handcrafted potions, teas, herbal remedies, bath and body goodies, herbs, workshops, foods, crystals, jewelry and yes, even spells – you’ll have to go to find out more about that – not to mention fortune tellers and performances. The guest of honor will be one of St. Nicholas’ companions: Krampus, the horned, anthropomorphic figure (think half-goat, half-demon) who uses the Christmas season to punish children who have misbehaved. Because there is a cap on how many holiday shoppers can attend, it’s wise to grab your nonrefundable $5 tickets soon before they sell out. An inside market, masks must be worn continuously while inside the market area.

The Yule Witch Market is held Sunday, Dec. 6, from 1- 6 p.m. at Diversity Richmond, 1407 Sherwood Ave.

Hosted by the Carytown Farmers Market, the ninth annual Carytown Holiday Artisan Market continues its run of outstanding farmers markets with a weekend holiday edition devoted to showcasing the best of local craftspeople and artisans. Food trucks will be part of it, along with music performances and vendors offering pottery, crafts, accessories, home décor, and chocolates. Again, masks are required, booths will be 6 to 10 feet apart, performances will be separate on an elevated stage and hand sanitation stations will be scattered throughout. Dress for the weather and come out to City Stadium to check it out.

Carytown Holiday Artisan Market is held on Saturday, Dec. 12, and Sunday, Dec. 13, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at City Stadium, 3201 Maplewood Ave.

Back to The Holiday Almanac


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