Gordon/Barrie Island Twp. offers a taste of European holiday traditions at annual Advent Festival Market

GORDON/BARRIE ISLAND—The municipality of Gordon/Barrie Island will once again offer a taste of European holiday traditions on Manitoulin Island at the community’s annual Advent Festival Market from Friday, November 29 through to Sunday, December 1.

Combining a unique indoor/outdoor market with the flavour of traditional European Christmas markets and Island charm, the market will feature quality craftsmanship from Island artisans, fresh baking, gourmet treats and traditional German fare—something for everyone on your shopping list, including you!

Culture and Recreation Committee chair Barbara Barfoot told The Expositor that she was inspired by European Christmas markets during a trip several years ago.

“After experiencing many of the wonderful Christmas markets in Europe, I thought a variation would be a perfect fit for the municipality,” explained Ms. Barfoot. “Dating back to the Middle Ages, these street markets originated in Germany, Austria, parts of France and Italy and were held in the town squares. While we don’t have a town square, we use the municipal hall and parking lot with vendors inside and out.”

“It is a great socializing venue as people come together to share drinks, food and shop for locally made products,” continued Ms. Barfoot. “Carol singing, wagon rides, Mrs. Claus’ workshop and even visits from Santa make it a fun-filled weekend for all. Specialty items like lebkuchen (a soft gingerbread cookie) and gluhwein (mulled wine), bretzel (large soft pretzel) are some of the delicacies offered, while more robust food like bratwurst, pulled pork and chili are also available.”

The fourth annual event will also include an advent star hunt throughout the municipality.

There will be a number of gold Advent shooting stars visible from the roads and highways throughout the municipality of Gordon/Barrie Island that individuals can count and submit, with the chance to win a fabulous prize.

“The opening ceremony starts Friday (November 29) night with a welcoming address and the lighting of the Advent wreath, a carol sing and maybe a visit from the jolly old guy himself,” concluded Ms. Barfoot.

The market will open at 5 pm on Friday, with the opening ceremony starting at 6 pm. Santa will be by for a visit at 7 pm, while the market will close for the evening at 8 pm.

On Saturday, the market will reopen at 10 am, with Mrs. Claus’ workshop open all day. Santa will be visiting at 1 pm, followed by carols at 2 pm, and the closing of the market at 3 pm.

The fun will start back up on Sunday at 10 am, as will Mrs. Claus’ workshop. There will be a visit from Santa at 1 pm, along with wagon rides. One o’clock will also mark the end of the Advent star hunt, followed by the silent auction at 2 pm and the quilt draw. The event will come to a close at 3 pm.

For more information on this year’s Advent Festival Market call the Gordon/Barrie Island municipal office at 705-282-2702, visit www.gordonbarrieisland.ca or see the ad in this week’s Expositor.

The market will be located three minutes west of Gore Bay at the Gordon Hall, 29 Noble Sideroad.

Robin Burridge