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COLUMN: Local merchants need your support to feel festive

'Tis the season for Christmas markets and Christmas shopping as columnist urges residents to 'shop local' this holiday season
whoville tree downtown orillia
Downtown Orillia is festively adorned with dozens of custom-crafted Whoville trees this Christmas season.

Well folks, we are getting towards the end of the holiday madness, and not a moment too soon, as omicron rears its ugly head throughout the region.

Successful Christmas concerts are now in the rear-view mirror, and successful they were. It was a shame that The Lighthouse had to cancel the Holiday Wish List concert, but heeding the pleas from the overburdened Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit was a wise move. Hopefully, this concert will go ahead in the spring when case numbers are lower.

Just a couple of Christmas markets left to go, including one at Integrated Farms this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at 5091 Line 10 N. in Oro-Medonte. Integrated Farms has all your healthy food needs for your Christmas feast and will be adding goods from local crafters and artisans as well for your holiday shopping pleasure.

Also this Saturday, is ODAS Park Farmers’ Market's final Christmas market of the season, so hustle on out there and get your shopping done!

Finally, the Downtown Orillia Farmers’ Market, located at the library, has two more Christmas markets for you. The first is this Saturday morning, and the second and final one is Dec. 22 from 2:30 to 7 p.m. So, get down there and check out all the shopping choices they have for you as well.

Don’t forget Orillia’s downtown and Arts District for all your holiday shopping needs! These folks have HAD A TIME, and it would be wonderful to support them as much as you are able, in these very strange and difficult years.

We are so lucky to have such a vibrant arts scene, and such a successful, unique, and beautiful downtown. Let’s support all our local merchants so we continue to be privileged with these special people and businesses.

Our local art galleries have such a wealth of choice, including the Underground Gallery in Hibernation Arts, where you can find gorgeous art pieces on sale, or the 6x6 show at Peter Street Fine Arts, where you can pick up affordably priced small pieces for everyone on your list. Or check out Cloud Gallery for beautiful local landscapes if you really want to make a gift giving splash!

Downtown businesses offer everything from stocking stuffers to food to drinks to décor and more, all local, many handmade, and unique for everyone on your list. Go downtown, check out all the delightful Whoville trees and seasonal décor, grab lunch, and get your Christmas shopping list taken care of. Sounds like a perfect Saturday.

This just in…The Annual Christmas Show and Sale at Charles Pachter’s studio, 54 Western Ave., will be going ahead this Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 18 and 19, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Come and see what Charles has to offer for your Christmas shopping pleasure!

Good luck with your shopping, stay safe, and if you have arts news, send it to to by Tuesday at noon to be included.