Valdosta Daily Times

November 13, 2011

Merry Marketplace

Eagerly anticipated holiday show continues for 38th year

By Elizabeth Butler
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Niki Masters of Nikita Lynn Designs in Atlanta will bring “beautifully crafted, creatively designed” bags, accessories, and shawls to the Valdosta Junior Service League’s Merry Marketplace this coming weekend.

Masters will be among 120 vendors from 28 cities across Georgia, as well as from Florida, South Carolina and Alabama, showcased at the Merry Marketplace.

“Since our formation in 2007, we have provided fashionistas everywhere with limited-edition, signature hand-crafted bags, accessories, and shawls that are unmatched in both price and quality,” Masters said. “Our products are fabricated from high-end leathers, and textiles using artistic beading and embroidery detailing that sets our line apart from all others.”   

Those who attend the Merry Marketplace Nov. 19-20 at the James H. Rainwater Conference Center will be able to check out her products, as well as those of the other vendors.

“Merry Marketplace is your one-stop destination for holiday shopping and the kickoff to the holiday season in South Georgia,” said Alison Eubanks, show co-chairman with Brandi Hobby and Heather Butler.

“There will be something at Merry Marketplace for everyone on your list, so let us take the stress off of you by having all the gifts you need under one roof. You will see unique gifts that can only be found at Merry Marketplace.”

 New handmade jewelry, children’s clothing, sports gifts and healthy living vendors will be featured along with returning favorites, including Mrs. Leslie’s Cakes, Cindi’s Family Ornaments, and local retailers such as Ally B, Greek Row, 109 Central, Country Cobbler, City Market and Only Options.

“I’m excited about all the great vendors we have so far for Merry Marketplace,” said Registration Chairman Holle Roberts. “We will have about a half-and-half ratio of new vendors to our old classics.

“Paulette’s Best Foods brings her secret spices and salad dressing mixes to add a little pep to your traditional recipes. Princess to Princess is one vendor with some cool and precious hair bows and headbands for your sweet little ones. We have a vinyl lettering vendor named Priss Pots and Polka Dots that will have those cute cake carriers, mailboxes and tote bags. La Dee Dah Art will be selling original designed, hand-painted wall canvases, growth charts, and personalized holiday items. The sweets and treats food vendors have multiplied from last year, with everything from toffee to stone-ground grits, cheeses, nuts to caramel apples, cakes,  pepper jelly, jams and more.”

The general show is from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and noon–5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $5 for adults and $1 for children. Children under 3 are free.

 “Again this year, we are welcoming military families to the show for free on Sunday with a military ID,” said VJSL publicity chairman Jennifer Steedley.

Tickets may be purchased at the door or from 1st America Drugs, Children’s Corner, Country Cobbler, Hogan’s Pharmacy, Only Options, Perfect Settings, South Georgia Pediatric Dentistry, Steel’s Jewelry, Sew Blessed, Tin Bucket, and Girardin’s.

Limited tickets will be sold for the 5th Annual Preview Party Benefit set for Friday, Nov. 18. The Market Preview will be from 6:30-8:30 p.m., followed by a Holiday Soiree from 8:30 p.m. until.

Admission allows the ticket holder first chance to shop the limited merchandise offered at the show. Hors d’oeuvres and cocktails will be offered, and the band, Sold at Auction, will provide live entertainment.  

“The VJSL would like to thank all our sponsors and donors for making this benefit possible again this year,” said Preview Party chairman Cristie Dasher. “We would especially like to thank Prince Chevrolet for graciously being our Premier Platinum Sponsor again this year.”

 The VJSL will continue its tradition of holding a silent auction of “beautifully decorated” Christmas trees and wreaths but with a twist this year.

The Christmas trees and wreaths are professionally decorated by local designers and will “greatly enhance” any home or office during the holiday season.

As an added bonus, Steel’s Jewelry will be donating a piece of jewelry with each tree that is auctioned off so that you can not only enhance your home or office, but yourself or loved one as well.  

 “Those attending the preview party will also be given the opportunity to purchase tickets to participate in a fabulous jewelry giveaway sponsored by Girardin Jewelers,” Dasher said. “Girardin Jewelers is graciously donating a his or her Rolex watch. Only 200 tickets will be sold for $50 each.  

 This year, the theme for the Preview Party is Cystic Fibrosis, according to VJSL President Janna Guess.

 “A portion of the proceeds will be given to this non-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness, research and advocacy and family services for all who struggle with Cystic Fibrosis. Please come and support this worthwhile event. Remember, you will have your first chance to shop the vendors, bid on a beautiful tree or wreath, have excellent food and listen to great music provided by Sold at Auction.”

 Tickets for the Preview Party are available at Steel’s Jewelry and Girardin Jewelers. Cost is $35 per person or $60 per couple.

In addition to the Preview Party, the service league is hosting a “Children’s Character Breakfast” on Saturday morning. There will be a lot of photo opportunities with Santa, Mickey, Minnie, Cinderella, Snow White, Tinkerbell, Elmo, Abby, Buzz, Woody, Spiderman, Kung Fu Panda, and Rapunzel, according to Children’s Character Breakfast chairman Brooke Altman.

 There will also be face painting at the breakfast, and Phillip Walker Photography will be on hand to take that special picture of children with Santa.

There will be two sessions: 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. These tickets are $12 a ticket and can only be purchased at the Children’s Corner, Steel’s Jewelry and Gerlock Dance Studio. They also get the ticket holder into the general show when it opens at 10 a.m.   

Valdosta Junior Service League is celebrating 75 years of serving the Valdosta area. Proceeds from the Merry Marketplace will go to local charities. Some of those the league supports are America’s Second Harvest, Children’s Advocacy Center, Community Partners in Education, DFACS Family Holiday Adoption and Foster Parents Banquet, elementary school Clothes Closets, Jacobs’ Ladder, Koats for Kids, LAMP, Learning Enhancement Grants for teachers, Partnership for Health, School Hearing and Vision Screening, South Georgia Regional Library, United Methodist Children’s Home, and United Way Day of Caring.