Anne Springs Close Greenway's Winter Wonderland Holiday Market.

One major holiday event in Fort Mill recently brought in the Christmas spirit for the Anne Springs Close Greenway.

The Anne Springs Close Greenway hosted their annual Winter Wonderland Holiday Market on December 5th from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Approximately 1,000 people brought reservations to attend the event, since it was a ticketed event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A total of 60 vendors took part in the Winter Wonderland Holiday Market. From jewelry vendors, to ceramics vendors, and even some food vendors, the market allowed local businesses in the Fort Mill area to show off their work to people in attendance. Most of the vendors’ products were homemade and handmade as well.

Elizabeth Bowers, communications director of the Greenway, says the event brings the whole community together and the Christmas spirit as a whole.

“The Winter Wonderland Holiday Market is a long-standing Fort Mill & Greenway tradition.  It brings together community members and our vendors–who all make handmade and homemade items–right in time for the holiday gift buying season” she says.

In fact, Bowers says that the event is even older than the Greenway itself.

“Believe it or not, this event is actually older than the Greenway itself!  It started as a holiday bazaar at the Leroy Springs Recreation Complex and was moved to the Dairy Barn several years ago.  So the show is about 27 years old and has been happening on the Greenway for 24 years” she says.

At the event, Bowers says that there was a variety of different products from vendors for people to explore while at the event.

“We have 60 vendors who all make their items.  You’ll find handmade soaps, lotions, knitted/crochet items, baby and children’s clothing, doll clothes, and wood working.  Lots of beautiful holiday decor and seasonal gifts, plus gourmet food items like popcorn from Popcorn Heaven and infused olive oils” she says.

However, with the COVID-19 pandemic still in play, many changes had to be made to the event according to Bowers, including a ticket system which made the event sold out.

“At first, we were afraid we wouldn’t be able to host the event safely.  We made a lot of changes and are really excited to have folks come shop safely with us.  Shoppers will see that we’ve changed the location of the show, reduced the total number of vendors, we have 8 feet of social distancing space between each vendor booth and have increased the walkway for shoppers so there is plenty of room to keep distant from others not in your party.  Everyone is required to wear masks in the shopping area as well as in the Greenway Gateway building.  Hand sanitizer will be available at the entry points.  The biggest change is probably that we have gone to a timed ticket system.  Shoppers must have a ticket to enter.  This will limit the number of people in the grounds at any one time” she says.

Shuckasoapo vendor at the Winter Wonderland Holiday Market.

The good news is that even though the pandemic has impacted the event, vendors like Shuckasoapo who makes homemade soap products, says that the turnout has still been successful.

“It’s been pretty good interest” owner Dena Espinoza said.

Springs Farm vendor at the Winter Wonderland Holiday Market.

Vendor Springs Farm who makes products such as peaches, strawberries, and garden products, also agreed similarly.

“Turnout has been great so far” the vendor said.

Despite the challenges in a unique year, Bowers said that the event is huge to the Greenway and is a way for people to help support local businesses and to get ahead on the holiday shopping.

“We feel it is a great addition to the Greenway’s events and activities.  We love being able to offer a place where our members and guests can help support small, local businesses and get their holiday shopping finished or started.”