On a blazing hot day in early October, I got to fly over to Nanaimo with Helijet so I could hang out with Santa Claus and learn about the Kris Kringle Craft Market.
I was on assignment for FestivalSeekers, to get the whole story about the Kris Kringle Craft Market, the brainchild of Veronica von Conruhds which has been a seasonal staple on Vancouver Island for over 20 years.
Kris and I met with a hug at the Nanaimo Museum, where one of this year’s exhibitors gave us a demo with her amazing handmade, artisan soap. The amazingly talented Valerie Krug-Lamirande of Raven Song Soap explained her process, cut some soap, and told us about her craft.
“I’m always Kringle-ing in my mind,” event organizer Veronica von Conruhds told me over a bowl of borscht. She’s put on the Kris Kringle market for the last 23 years on Vancouver Island, the last three years in Nanaimo. I dare you to find someone who lives and breathes Christmas spirit year-round like she does.
I ordered the combo platter #2, that came with perogies, half a sausage, and a cabbage roll. Frank Pluta, the market’s other principal, ordered the same, then show me photos of Kris on his iPhone.
“Here’s our day out on the water with the peddle boats; look at Kris!”
There he was, sporting a life jacket over his velvet robes, trading in his jingle-bell bedazzled staff for a paddle, to promote the market in the heat of summer.
The team spends months each year promoting the craft market, which attracts about 12,000 people, and Kris is such a great sport. Their enthusiasm is contagious, and brings out the best in everyone wherever they go. Veronica said they always have to plan an extra half hour into their travel time, because people just want to stop and talk to Kris. He’ll never rush past anyone. I can imagine a few requests for Santa Selfies might hold up his daily activities as well… Read more »
I got to ride around in the Kringle-mobile all day, and we even stopped in to see another exhibitor, Megan Elena Lott of Elena Designs where I purchase a gorgeous etched leather bracelet cuff.
Check out my article for FestivalSeekers for full details about my fun day with the Kris Kringle team, as well as the FestivalSeekers event listing for the market.
Kris Kringle Craft Market in Nanaimo
Where: Beban Park Centre (2300 Bowen Rd., Nanaimo)
When: November 17, 2016 to November 20, 2016
Tickets: Adults $10/day or $15 and a donation to Salvation Army for a full event pass. Seniors and students $8/per day, children 12 and under free.
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