Visitors to downtown Wilkes-Barre can walk in a winter wonderland this weekend during the second Old-Fashioned Holiday Market on Public Square.
Hosted by the city, the market takes place Friday, Dec. 1, and Saturday, Dec. 2, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and features arts and food vendors, live holiday music, and horse-drawn carriage and wagon rides. New to this year’s event is an appearance from Santa Claus, who arrives on top of a Wilkes-Barre Fire Department engine on Saturday at 1 p.m.
In an effort to encourage locals to explore the downtown, Wilkes-Barre special events coordinator Patty Hughes worked to recreate last year’s event, which touts a similar feel to the Fine Arts Fiesta, only winterized.
“The event was well-received last year, as holiday shoppers like to buy unique holiday gifts from local vendors,” Hughes said. “This event gives shoppers the opportunity to shop, dine and be entertained right in downtown Wilkes-Barre. The city is proud to be part of the rebirth of the downtown business district.”
Among the twinkling lights and the large tree in the center of Public Square, visitors can wander around more than 20 artisan vendors and food trucks while enjoying a jam-packed schedule of holiday music, dancing and other acts at the bandshell.
Craft vendors include Knotty Nikki’s pearl jewelry and custom designs, Amore Aroma candles and crystal healing, Jeff Wright wreaths and crafts, Krafts by Knopka, Infinity Creative Arts, Sewing in Stitches and Handcrafted by Polly, as well as direct sales vendors such as Scentsy, LuLaRoe and Paparazzi. Food vendors include Tony Thomas Catering, Sammy’s Caribbean Grill, Snook’s Wings & Things, El Rey Azteca and Pittston Popcorn Co.
“The overall goal is to attract residents and visitors to Wilkes-Barre through special events so that they will continue to shop and dine in the city throughout the year,” Hughes said.
Miss Pennsylvania’s Outstanding Teen, Madison Dompkosky, presents the horse-drawn carriage and wagon rides again this year. Victorian carriage rides will be available Friday, while horse-drawn carriage rides will circle the square Saturday. Carriage and wagon rides cost $5, with all proceeds benefitting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
“As always, Mother Nature is the biggest challenge to any outdoor event,” Hughes said. “We are hoping for good weather again this year.”
Friday, Dec. 1
11 to 11:45 a.m. — Christmas music by DJ Mark
Noon to 12:45 p.m. — Stephen L. Perillo, Christian singer/songwriter
1 to 1:45 p.m. — Michael Yim and Jim Hinkel duo
2 to 2:45 p.m. — Curt Shrunk
3 to 3:45 p.m. — Kaili Hannon, Christian singer/songwriter
4 to 4:45 p.m. — Sean Kay, Christian singer/songwriter
5 to 5:30 p.m. — Dance Team by Courtney
5:45 to 6:30 p.m. — Christmas Music by DJ Mark
Saturday, Dec. 2
11 to 11:30 a.m. — Downtown Arts presents “Nutcracker Dance”
11:45 a.m. to 12:25 p.m. — Moving River Ministries presents “Stick Dance”
12:30 to 1 p.m. — Osterhout Library story time
1 to 3 p.m. — Santa Claus arrives on Wilkes-Barre Fire Department engine
2 to 2:45 p.m. — David Blight School of Dance presents “Polar Express”
3 to 3:45 p.m. — Keystone Kids Star Makers presents “Polar Express”
4 to 4:45 p.m. — Rising Stars presents “Polar Express”
5 to 5:30 p.m. — Keystone Kids presents “Polar Express”
5:45 to 7 p.m. — Broken Road Duo