Monday, November 9th, 2020
This year, the well attended Glen Arbor Holiday Marketplace has gone virtual. Like many events this season being cancelled due to covid-19, the Glen Lake Chamber decided to find a way to host this shopping event – online.
Event coordinator for the Chamber, Patrica Widmayer shares, “We’ve made something really exciting out of a very difficult circumstance. In 2019, more than 1700 people joined the Glen Arbor Holiday Marketplace on the Friday night and Saturday after Thanksgiving. They strolled between nearly 30 artisan booths, offering a beautiful range of works from ceramics to handcrafted jewelry to fabricated goods to photography and print works, to vintage signs and striking illustrations to beautiful tiles.
Then the COVID-19 pandemic made gatherings of this magnitude impossible. What to do to make sure the energy and delight of the Marketplace is not lost? The solution? Create a virtual holiday marketplace for our neighbors and friends to stroll (or should I say scroll?) the aisles and find treasures once again.
It is elegant and VERY easy. Take a look and make your choices. The Glen Arbor Holiday Marketplace lives on, with terrific options to cover anyone’s gift list. All the favorite artisans and more. How’s that for turning lemons into lemonade, and sustaining the presence of the marketplace in Glen Arbor for all to enjoy? Didn’t miss a beat!”
While normally this event allows for 25-30 artists to sell their goods at the Town Hall, this year’s online event has about 14 artisans participating. Patricia and one of the artisans Carol Murray helped get participating artists set up with either a Facebook page (if they didn’t already have one) or coached some through preparing for phone orders, eCommerce sales, and be ready for shipping.
The event launched on Saturday morning, November 7th with a reach on social media to over 7,000 people, lots of comments, questions and started the day off with plenty of inquiries direct to artisans and 3 sales. Marketing Director for the Glen Lake Chamber, Raquel Jackson explains that this event already has a strong following. “With slight changes in marketing this year, we expect it to still be a great success.”
Instead of just one day of in-person shopping, this year artisans can reach shoppers for over 1 month. The event will be open and live from November 7th – December 18th. Look for updates on Facebook about the event and details on how to shop: https://www.facebook.com/glenarborholidaymarketplace
Additionally, the Tree Lighting & Caroling in front of the Glen Arbor Township Hall is usually timed with the opening of the Holiday Market preview party Friday evening on Thanksgiving weekend. In light of the Holiday Market being cancelled, plus the impossibility to social distance, this holiday tradition will be pre-filmed then shared online Thanksgiving weekend. Raquel Jackson says, “I just couldn’t see this joy-filled tradition not happen. Video was the obvious answer to alternatively host the event. We were so pleased when we reached out to the Glen Lake Church and they agreed to help us make it possible. I love the simplicity of the event and how it attracts all ages and even different beliefs…together. It will be awesome to see this tradition bring a bit of much needed love and light to the community this season.”
The Glen Lake Chamber purchased new LED lights to re-decorate the trees that will be strung up by the Glen Lake Fire Department this month. Members from Glen Lake Church’s worship team will perform carols with the lighting of the tree, while a local will provide professional video support. The event will be pre-recorded then posted on facebook.com/visitglenarbor for all to see on Thanksgiving weekend.