It may be a short holiday shopping season, but one event is bringing local vendors together for some last-minute holiday shopping. Shoppers can head downtown to Gay Street for the December Holiday Moonlight Market this Saturday, December 14th. Gay Street stays hopping late with the typically outdoor market that last from 6:00 to 11:00pm.
To fight chilly temperatures, December’s Holiday Moonlight Market will move street vendors indoors to the Residence Inn Hotel at 36 E. Gay St. The space will host 30 plus local vendors with more artisans set up in unique spaces within shops along the street. At the hotel, indoor shoppers can sip and stroll with beer, wine or cocktails from the hotel bar, while enjoying music from local DJs.
“We’re hopeful this will give people the much-needed excuse to come out and buy some gifts for their loved ones and buy things from local artisans, vendors and businesses,” says Moonlight Market Event Coordinator, Walker Evans.
The Alternative Fashion Mob will provide on-site gift wrapping services for holiday shoppers.
As always, Gay Streets retail shops and restaurants will be open late for the market. Plans are in place make sure market-goers see everything the street has to offer.
“We’re going to put some luminaries out on the sidewalks to guide shoppers,” Evans says.
Cafe Brioso will serve warm drinks for the Holiday crowd, with a bevvy of options down the street for dinner including Zen Cha, J. Gumbo’s, Cafe Napolitana, Due Amici, Tip Top and Plantain Cafe. Other luminaries will point to shops like Robert Mason, Sugardaddy’s and zerOz.
There’s no question that the event brings commerce to the area. Many restaurants see a consistent uptick in sales or experience some of their highest-grossing nights. Restaurants aren’t the only vendors enjoying a boost in sales.
“The October event was successful from a one-night, big-bang sales perspective and has generated additional smaller sales after the event,” says Phil Shealy of Capital Roots Clothing. The clothing company specializes in vintage, Ohio-themed shirts and sweatshirts.
“The event provides a unique opportunity to increase brand exposure and promote our products to our primary target market, Columbus-based residents,” Shealy continues. Capital Roots Clothing is back for their second market after their October experience.
Hammered & Corked has attended every Moonlight Market since April. Laura Whitaker creates handmade silver and copper jewelry and other crafted cork items to bring to the event.
“Moonlight market is a great fit for our business, providing an opportunity for both impulse buys and for relationships with customers that see us month after month,” Whitaker says.
Building relationships is exactly why another vendor, Candle With a Cause, attends the Moonlight Market.
“The largest benefit from the market has been connecting us with new nonprofit partners, which help us create new candles that support our community,” says Mitch Underwood, Director, Sales & Marketing of Candle With a Cause. The company collects bottles from local establishments that they craft into high-quality, soy candles with the 25 percent of the net profits supporting location non-profits.
“We have attended many different markets since the creation of our business,” says Underwood. “This one sticks out from the rest due to the evening crowd being more eager to buy everyone’s product.”
For more information, visit moonlightmarketcolumbus.com.
Photos by Pam Reece and Tim Kubick, Via ColumbusUnderground.com.