Seniors raise bar for holiday sales

Barbara Lawlor, Nederland.  You know an event is a success when the concession stand runs out of food minutes before the vendors start packing up their wares.

Nederland Area Senior cooks Jim Elders and Martin Cheshes served up hot dogs and chili, brats and burritos for two days and had just enough to make it to the end of the weekend.

According to most vendors, the Holiday Mountain Market was the cash cow they had hoped for when they brought their crafts to the Nederland Community Center last Saturday and Sunday.

It was a cold, windy day and the haze of warmth, food smells and essentials oils blanketed the hubbub of conversation and the myriad local musicians adding to the holiday ambience.


Each day around noon, Santa made his large ho-ho-ho entrance and the children pranced behind him, vying for a position in line to tell him what they wanted to find under the tree or nestled in the toe of a stocking.

Santa, Littlefoot, says at one point there were about 75 kids waiting to talk to him and the photographer couldn’t keep up with the visits. Most of the time, however, Santa and his elves gave the wide-eyed, eager children a chance to whisper in his ear.

His assistant Jeanette Smith has been Mrs. Santa for decades and donned her traditional apron and Christmas accessories as she bustled about with the camera in her hands. Fortunately, it was easy to tease a smile from even the shyest of children.

Nora Curcio manned the Tungsten Toffee booth as shoppers walked by and sampled bits and pieces of the candy that was born when Nora was a small child. She is now 18, about to graduate from Nederland High School and the family toffee has become a full-time business with customers from all over the country.

Cartoonist George Blevins signed the last segment of his three Cabin Fever books, which were recently released by Sockwood Press of Nederland. Jane Wodening signed her new book, “Driveabout,” also printed by Sockwood Press. Both books are available at Blue Owl Bookstore.

Boy Scouts of local pack 170 sold chocolate bars and assisted the volunteers in any way they could.

The dancers and musicians took their turns with the microphone. The Mountain Movers dancing troupe performed on Saturday morning and exhibited their talent as they spun and leaped, their choreography the result of weeks of rehearsals and some of them demonstrating years of training.

On Sunday, the Revelation 19 Choir from Calvary Chapel sang traditional Christmas Carols, adding their own style and harmonies, arranged by Tom Pratt. It was a powerful performance, filled with fun songs and joyful songs celebrating the birth of Christ.

Many non-profit organizations had booths, a chance to raise money and offer information about the goods and services they provide throughout the community.

A silent auction presented a choice of over 250 goods and services donated by the community.

The holiday market is one of the Nederland Area Senior’s biggest fundraisers of the year and every year it is a huge gift to the vendors and shoppers who anticipate the largest of the season’s local markets.


Barbara Lawlor

Barbara is a reporter for The Mountain-Ear.