Artisans, students sell wares at Milligan Advent Market
Published 11:16 am Thursday, December 4, 2014
Christmas shoppers looking for that one-of-a-kind present had plenty of options to choose from during Milligan College’s third Advent Market held Wednesday in the Gregory Center for the Liberal Arts.
The market featured close to 30 booths run by local artisans, students raising money for their own mission projects and organizations or nonprofit groups.
“This is a way for us to support the Milligan College community and the community at large by offering this alternative for Christmas shopping,” Milligan College Director of Campus Activities Kristal Dove said.
Milligan College student Darcie DeLong was one of the shoppers checking items off of her Christmas list. She has attended the market each year it has been held but said this was the first year she was able to make a purchase.
“I got a present for my grandmother, and I am looking for one for my aunt,” DeLong said. “I will probably buy something for myself, too. There are so many great things here.”
Ginny Penley of North Carolina took a day off from work to attend the market with her daughter, a Milligan student.
“It is a new tradition for us,” Penley said. “They have a nice variety of unique things.”
Mary Campbell of Clifton, Va., took in the offerings of the Advent Market while visiting her son, who is a Milligan professor.
“It is exciting,” Campbell said. “There are so many different vendors with a nice variety of good quality items.”
Campbell’s granddaughter, 4-year-old Caroline, found a necklace that quickly became a part of her ensemble. Caroline pointed out that the black-and-white stone in the necklace had pink flecks that matched her outfit.
The market is a popular stop for local vendors, Dove said, and the college has to turn some away each year.
“We have tables in every nook and cranny,” she said. “The artisans love the market because it is a way for them to connect to the community.”
The market featured a variety of items including pottery, wood carvings, paper products, jewelry, clothing and bath products.
“It is all across the board,” Dove said.
Milligan College sophomore Jeanette Hartsough sold bracelets, cookie dough and coffee to raise money for her upcoming mission trip to Barcelona. Hartsough will leave in May and will live in Barcelona for five or six months working with a documentary crew while ministering to the influx of Muslim refugees living in the city.
“If they do accept Christ, (the filmmakers) will pay for them to go to discipleship school and will arrange for them to be a missionary back in their home country,” Hartsough said.
Through the market and other fundraising efforts, Hartsough has raised close to half of her $5,000 goal.
Christy and Larry Dickison of Windy Ridge Naturals were a part of the market for the first time. They tried to participate last year but were not able to get in, Christy said. The couple sell hand-blended teas and natural skin care items.
“The market has been fantastic,” she said. “It has a fantastic atmosphere. The people have been fun. It is like Santa’s workshop in here. There was a girl in here earlier that was actually checking items off of her Christmas list as she shopped.”
Oreon Millard is a third-year participant in the fair. Millard sells “Frankenscarves” made from repurposed sweaters, and crocheted “critters” depicting characters from popular television shows and movies.
The Milligan College community keeps her coming back to the market, Millard said.
“Even if they don’t buy anything, the students, faculty and staff are so friendly,” she said. “They are happy that we are here and love to interact with us. They are so kind and happy and open with the vendors.”