The holidays are in the air and what better place to celebrate the spirit of the season than to step inside the full sensory experience that is the Aurora Christmas Market? Literally.
Named one of the Top 100 Festivals & Events in Ontario, the free Aurora Christmas Market will take place at Town Park on December 2, 3, and 4, and again on December 9, 10, and 11, from 5 – 9.30 p.m., with 93+ vendors making sure that each night provides a unique experience.
Events get underway on December 2 at 5.15 p.m. with the Town’s Traditional Tree Lighting Ceremony, over which Mayor and Council will preside with Santa Claus.
Following the tree lighting, the Market is yours to discover with festive products to buy and whimsical activities to experience.
“We’re ecstatic to say we have more than 90 different vendors over six nights, but we know that the magic of the Market isn’t just about vendors,” says Shelley Ware, Special Events Coordinator for the Town of Aurora. “We have a really great entertainment lineup which focuses on buskers as well as fire juggling. Of course, we’re very fortunate that Santa loves us so much because he has agreed to be a resident for those six nights and will be at the Market each of the evenings doing meet-and-greets and photos with the kids.”
An added attraction for this first weekend is a larger-than-life snow globe which people can step inside, enjoy, and take photos.
“We try to keep building on the surprises,” says Ms. Ware. “In addition to the beautiful tree, last year’s huge illuminated ‘Aurora’ letters were a big hit so, with our curiosity in terms of what goes on in the North Pole, we thought we would bring a bit of the North Pole with Santa with the life-size snow globe, which we think will add some cool excitement for those two evenings.”
There’s an additional surprise in store for the second weekend. While Ms. Ware is mum on what that might be, we can reveal it has a tie-in to Aurora’s rail history.
In addition to the photo ops, there are plenty of opportunities to get crafty.
This year marks the return to hands-on workshops which will be a “huge presence” at the market.
On the second weekend, a workshop will be held inside the historic Aurora Armoury which will see participants create their own gourmet hot chocolate before settling into a painting activity.
The Cocoa & Canvas Paint Night is just one chance to create a masterpiece. Also in store is a gnome-making workshop which was previously a digital component of the Market.
“This year we’re making gnomes together because every gnome deserves a home,” says Ms. Ware. “One additional workshop will be geared towards smaller children with a gingerbread house decorating workshop. You decorate your gingerbread house, which is provided, and leave the mess with us.”
Since the Town opened its first Christmas Market, the event has become a favourite event in the Aurora calendar. For Ms. Ware, a big part of that the ambiance of Town Park and the lights of the season.
“There is something about the darker early evenings mixed in and coupled of gorgeous, festive lights. Christmas markets are very common in Ontario now, much like they are in Europe, and what is nice about our Market is there are continual improvements made each year. For residents in Aurora, this is their time to invite their friends into their Town to see this kind of calibre market. With Aurora, we have the small-town charm and I think we make up for it in the community with our huge amounts of enthusiasm.”
For more information about the 2022 Aurora Christmas Market, including a full schedule of activities, workshops, and entertainment, visit aurora.ca/christmasmarket.
Brock Weir, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Auroran