Holly Market draws record crowds, in spite of wet weather

Andrew Cryer

Vendor Jackie Wade

CULLMAN – It was a drizzly weekend, but that didn’t keep the droves away from this year’s Holly Market at the Cullman Civic Center. The market, formerly called the Christmas Arts and Crafts Show, was hosted by Cullman City Parks and Recreation and featured approximately 80 vendors. While the rain dampened some of the outside inflatables, the market was abuzz, as potential customers kept pouring in. 

“We are confident in saying that this was the most well-attended show we have ever had. Most of the vendors sold two-to-three times the amount they have in years past! It was also a big plus having additional vendors outside to offer some more variety as well as having all the free kids’ activities,” said Waid Harbison, CP&R’s marketing & programs director. “Kelly Pulliam is our Civic Center manager and is in charge of the show, so she did a fantastic job getting the additional vendors and really taking the event to the next level. Definitely the most successful craft show since it started over 20 years ago according to attendees and vendors!”

Jackie Wade, of Holly Pond, came to the Holly Market to represent her small business, Heart’s Desire. She has been in business since 1990, selling framed inspirational and sympathy art, jams, gourmet coffee, gift baskets and just about everything in between. She and her assistants, she said, were “covered up,” and ran out of items they “never in a million years dreamed that we would run out of.”

“This has been the best show they have ever put on,” said Wade, who has been coming to the market since it began years ago.   

Another vendor who brought handcrafted items, and hand-packaged items, was Cassie Williams of Cullman, owner of Southern Mix. The business does mixes and catering. They do not have a storefront, but they do have a certified kitchen in Dodge City. Of the process of selling her wares at the Holly Market, Williams said, “Basically, you just send in your application with pictures of your products, letting them know what you’re selling.” She provided free samples of her various dips that were available for purchase, guaranteeing a consistently busy booth.

Although many of the vendors were from the Cullman area, the Holly Market often attracts vendors from all over north Alabama. April McCay, of Trafford, came to sell her homemade jewelry. When asked why she decided to travel to Cullman for the Holly Market, she jokingly said, “Well, you had a crafts show going on!” McCay says she tries to attend as many as she can during the fall and holiday season.

Echoing McCay, Barbara Yoder of Falkville said, “Every time something like this happens, we try to attend”.  She and her husband sell soy candles and have been attending the Holly Market since 2007. Yoder says she loves getting to sell her product and plans on coming for many years in the future.     


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