The Vancouver Christmas Market at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza opens Nov. 24 and I’ll make a prediction here — it’s going to rain.
I’ve been at opening night the past two years in a row and it couldn’t have rained any harder.
But the rain didn’t dampen the holiday spirits of the shoppers and families wandering the market sipping hot chocolate and warm apple cider while listening to carolers and riding the carousel. (Are you feeling festive yet?)
This year’s market has an increased emphasis on food, including steckerlfisch from Captain Randy’s Seafood — a traditional Bavarian beer garden specialty with fish on a stick marinated and grilled until smoky and crispy.
But if fish doesn’t scream Christmas to you, check out the treats from Levni Chocolates. The handmade chocolates include flavours such as Blue Moon (blue cheese chocolate), Smoking Hearts (applewood smoked chocolate) and Brunette Bangle (curry and coconut).
The market has a German theme so the D-Original Sausage Haus booth, which features traditional Bavarian offerings, is right at home. The sausages, made by fifth-generation sausage maker Drew Driessen, are the same found in several of the city’s favourite gastropubs such as The Flying Pig and Bitter Tasting Room. Of course you also have to try Driessen’s Leberkaes, a Bavarian meatloaf served on a fresh, crusty bun. Then there’s the kartoffelpuffer from Hurricane Potatoes, a deep-fried potato pancake served with a side of applesauce. Finally, The Soup Meister with executive Chef Ralf Dauns turns his talent to traditional German soups, including comforting potato and bacon and hearty lentil and sausage. The market runs from Nov. 24 to Dec. 24. For more information visit vancouverchristmasmarket.com.
There are still a few table spaces left for vendors or individuals who wish to sell their homemade holiday crafts and artisan goods at the debut craft fair in the Salt Building at the Olympic Village, Dec. 15 and 16.
The event will host more than 150 local vendors and is expected to draw thousands of residents with a promise of live entertainment and fun activities, such as face painting and a visit from Santa. Great Canadian Craft is showcasing artisans offering handmade crafts to locally inspired cuisine. All attendees are encouraged to support the food bank with a donation of a canned food item at the fair. Discount online tickets are available on their website. For tickets and last-minute applications visit greatcanadiancraft.jimdo.com.
The Urban Artisan Craft Fair for the Urban Christmas Shopper takes place the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre Nov. 24 and 25 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.
Artisans, artists and craftspeople will offer items ranging from toys and clothing for the toddler in the family, to knitwear and jewelry for the adults. Don’t miss out on detailed home accents, pet paraphernalia and “perfect funky” gifts for your friends. There’s also a special kids’ craft table in the Great Hall. Admission is $1.
Help prevent youth homelessness by purchasing your Christmas tree at one of Aunt Leah’s Tree Lots this year between Nov. 30 and Dec. 23. Funds raised go towards programs that help youth in foster care, house teen moms and babies, teach essential life skills and access job training. In Vancouver the Aunt Leah’s lot is located at St. Stephen’s United Church at West 54th Avenue and Granville. The lot will be open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.