Why hit the mall when you can shop small, sipping on a glass of mulled wine while you search for one-of-a-kind gifts?
Holiday markets large and small are booming in Loudoun. In the past two years, small Christmas markets have popped up at wineries and breweries across Loudoun, with more than a dozen on tap over the next three weekends. The first weekend in December also marks a return for two larger-scale local markets: Lovettsville’s German-inspired Christkindlmarkt and Leesburg’s Holiday Fine Arts and Crafts Show.
A Christmas-loving British owner’s memories of holiday markets inspired Two Twisted Posts winery’s Christmas Mini-Market, now in its second year.
“It’s for people who want to be outdoors instead of at the mall. We bring the European Christmas market vibe—it’s rustic, warm and intimate,” said Krista Cato, co-owner of the family-run winery near Hillsboro. Cato’s mother and co-owner Theresa Robertson grew up in England and was inspired by the festive holiday markets of her youth.
Cato and Robertson decided to keep it small, with a handful of carefully curated vendors on the winery’s heated outdoor patio and in tents just outside. Patrons can enjoy a relaxed atmosphere with fire pits, mulled wine while shopping for baked goods and handmade cookie cutters, woodworking, jewelry, wine-themed accessories and bottle holders, plants, greenery and ornaments.
This year, wineries and breweries around the county are jumping on the holiday market bandwagon, offering local artisans a chance to shine and giving patrons the opportunity to shop for special gifts in a mellow setting, making holiday shopping a fun experience instead of a chore.
“It’s a personal experience,” Cato said. “That’s something Loudoun has done really well with these Christmas markets.”
Lovettsville’s Christkindlmarkt Returns
Lovettsville’s German-inspired Christkindlmarkt returns Saturday, Dec. 3 after a two-year hiatus. The festive event, previously organized by the Loudoun Valley German Society for more than a decade, is now run by the Lovettsville Lions Club and Lovettsville Game Protective Association.
Lisa Brill, a fundraising chair for the Lovettsville Lions Club, has participated in past markets as a vendor, selling White House Ornaments as a fundraiser. It was a big moneymaker for the nonprofit club and a fun community event, so Brill decided it was time to revive the market.
“We did so well, and I missed it, too,” Brill said. “I kept thinking maybe we could do this. I went to the game club and said, ‘I’ll do the vendors, you do the food, and everybody’s happy.’”
Brill spent the past year building a vendor list and has a full house with 25 signed up. LGPA provides the venue and serves up German inspired food, mulled wine and beer as a fundraiser, with local cub scouts on hand offering gift wrapping by donation.
The market is part of the town-wide Cocoa Crawl event spotlighting local businesses and kicks off a list of holiday activities, wrapping up with the annual German-inspired lantern parade and tree lighting Saturday evening.
Leesburg’s Fine Arts and Crafts Show Draws Thousands
One of Loudoun’s largest and longest-running craft shows also is back in its pre-pandemic glory. The Leesburg Holiday Fine Arts and Crafts Show takes place Saturday, Dec. 3 and Sunday, Dec. 4 at Ida Lee Recreation Center.
Now in its 32nd year, the two-day event features nearly 100 vendors and draws between 3,000 and 3,500 attendees over two days, taking over both levels of the town’s recreation center.
Linda Fountain, events and outreach manager for the Town of Leesburg’s Parks and Recreation department, and her team organized the show outdoors at Freedom Park in 2020 on a reduced scale with 25 vendors. But the 2020 event still drew around 1,300 shoppers looking for an open-air market during the first holiday season of the COVID pandemic. The town returned to the indoor show last year with a reduced number of vendors but a similar number of shoppers.
“I was surprised at the numbers we had last year,” Fountain said.
This year, the show is back with a floor plan similar to 2019, featuring 92 vendors offering candles, stained glass, carved wood, jewelry, table linens and other handmade items.
“I think the appeal is unique, one-of-a-kind items—not your average, go to the store and everything is the same,” Fountain said.
Upcoming Holiday Markets
From large craft fairs to tiny winery markets, here’s a look at some of the holiday shopping opportunities this weekend in Loudoun. Check the Loudoun Now calendar next week for more fun holiday events.
Saturday, Dec. 3, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Lovettsville Game Protective Association, 16 South Berlin Pike, Lovettsville
Lovettsville’s Christmas market features 25 vendors and traditional German food and drink. Admission is free.
Leesburg Holiday Fine Arts and Crafts Show
Saturday, Dec. 3, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 4, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Ida Lee Park, 60 Ida Lee Drive NW, Leesburg
Leesburg’s beloved holiday craft show features local and regional artisans with handmade items including candles, stained glass, carved wood, jewelry, table linens and more. Admission is free.
Sunset Hills Holiday Market
Saturday, Dec. 3, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Sunset Hills Vineyard, 38295 Fremont Overlook Lane, Purcellville
SHV’s holiday market returns with live entertainment, mulled wine, and food. Shop for handmade jewelry, bath and body products, candles, and home decor.
Two Twisted Posts Christmas Mini-Market
Saturday, Dec. 3, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Two Twisted Posts Winery, 12944 Harpers Ferry Road, Neersville
Sip and shop in a cozy atmosphere with curated artisans, mulled wine and food for sale.
Old 690 Holiday Market
Saturday, Dec. 3, noon
Old 690 Brewing Company, 15670 Ashbury Church Road, Hillsboro
Old 690’s holiday market returns with unique vendors including pottery, candles, jewelry, decor, lotions, soaps and more.
Greenhill Vineyards Christkindlmarkt
Saturday, Dec. 3, noon-6 p.m.
Greenhill Vineyards, 23595 Winery Lane, Middleburg
Jump start your holiday shopping with local handcrafted goods while enjoying mulled wine and other libations.
Firefly Cellars Holiday Market
Saturday, Dec. 3, noon-5 p.m.
Firefly Cellars, 40325 Charles Town Pike, Hamilton
Get a cozy Christmas feel while shopping small with artisan vendors featuring handmade gifts and decor. The event features food trucks, holiday music, Christmas movies, firepit, and festive decor.
Harpers Ferry Brewing Holiday Market
Saturday, Dec. 3, noon-5 p.m.
Harpers Ferry Brewing, 37412 Adventure Center Lane, Loudoun Heights
Check out local vendors while enjoying craft beer and hard cider.
Willowcroft Sip and Shop
Saturday, Dec. 3, noon-4 p.m.
Willowcroft Farm Vineyards, 38906 Mount Gilead Road, Leesburg
Knock out some holiday shopping in a mellow environment while sipping great wines.
Flying Ace Holiday Craft Fair
Saturday, Dec. 3, noon-4 p.m.
Flying Ace Distillery and Brewery, 40950 Flying Ace Lane, Lovettsville
Flying Ace’s inaugural holiday craft fair features local artists showcasing handmade items.