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Merry Marketplace in Laurel

‘Tis the season for all things merry and bright, and what better way to get into the holiday spirit than to step into a magical wonderland of Christmas at the Merry Marketplace this Saturday, Nov. 23, at the Magnolia Center in Laurel. This is a first for the city of Laurel, and you definitely don’t want to miss out on all the beauty and fun and pick up a few special gifts for those on your Christmas shopping list at this free, family event.

The idea for the Merry Marketplace began in the fall of this year as Amelia Bates of Ellisville was looking around for somewhere that she could bring some support to her business and other businesses in the local area, but she was unable to find anything local. That didn’t stop her. She started a plan and sought support to bring some holiday spirit to the Jones County area.

“I began to gather interest for the idea of a Christmas market based in Laurel. People were thrilled by the idea, and the interest was overwhelming,” Bates said. “After one month of publicity, we booked over 80 vendors for Merry Marketplace 2019. We were also able to gain the support of 12 South Mississippi businesses for sponsorships.”

The enthusiasm from the community was overwhelming and appreciated by vendors and artisans in the area. There has been such a positive and excited response from local shoppers and kids (and kids at heart) that are so ready to help usher in the season and start the celebrations.

Although this is the first year of the Marketplace, there are plans to keep the event a holiday tradition year after year for the Jones County area. At this holly, jolly celebration, there is sure to be something to please everyone in the family, and the anticipation continues to grow for the inaugural Merry Marketplace.

“We hope to have something for everyone to look forward to year after year,” Bates said. “Our main attraction this year is Santa’s Winter Wonderland. Here, children can tell Santa all their wishes for Christmas and have their picture taken by local photographer, Darrin Herndon from Darrin’s Photography.”

With a visit from the “Man of the Hour,” Santa Claus himself, there’s sure to be lots of excited children with shining eyes just waiting to see the jolly man in person. Santa’s Winter Wonderland promises to be an enchanting, magical experience for young and old and will definitely get you into the holiday spirit.

The little ones will be in for a treat as they will get a chance to make some Christmas memories to cherish for years to come. “We also have local artist Brittany Davis from Art Cottage for our children’s arts and crafts booth where each child can take home a special keepsake for the holiday season,” Bates said.

Filling the air with the smell of freshly cut Christmas trees and wreaths, Talson Farms Christmas Trees, on the participating sponsors, will be on hand to give everyone a close up look at their gorgeous goods and their lovely trees will help add a little more magic to Santa’s Winter Wonderland.

“Talson Farms will be at the market this year for a fresh cut greens wreath demonstration all day long, and they will have their homemade cider mix for sale,” Bates said.

There will also be plenty of opportunities to pick up something unique, special, and beautiful for someone special on your Christmas shopping list. Many talented artists and vendors will have plenty of lovely gift choices on hand for everyone on your list.

“Our vendors include local artists., women’s and children’s clothing boutiques, a variety of jewelry, floral arrangements, home décor, antiques, bath and body items, toys, and so much more!” Bates said. “We are sure you’ll find something for everyone on your list.”

The Merry Marketplace is sure to make all spirits merry and bright and is sure to become a time honored tradition for the Jones County area for years to come. It’s a wonderful place to make new memories with your family and friends.

“My hope in the Merry Marketplace was to create an event that embraced the spirit of Christmas in the young and the old and showcase the wonderful businesses and craftsmen in our area,” Bates said. “We look forward to doing just that this Saturday at the Merry Marketplace.”

Come out and enjoy the fun and get some of your Christmas shopping done at the Merry Marketplace at the Magnolia Center in Laurel, Saturday, November 23, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information about this event, you can contact the market at [email protected] .


Written by Judy Smith

Judy Smith has been a freelance writer and photographer for several magazines and publications around the South, including Social South Magazine, Our Mississippi Magazine, DeSoto Magazine, Deep South Magazine, Country Roads Magazine, among others. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Paralegal Studies, Master’s of Science in Mass Communications, and PhD in Communications at the University of Southern Mississippi. And Judy Smith is proud to forever be a Mississippi Girl.


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