Jingle all the way: Market opens at Florence Center

By: Andrew Boardwine

FLORENCE, S.C. – Christmas enthusiasts will ring in the holiday season this weekend at the Florence Center with the 2018 Jingle Bell Market.

The Jingle Bell Market held its kickoff celebration Thursday afternoon with a ribbon cutting in conjunction with the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce.

Mary Hudson, the show manager, said she was excited to see the event kickoff after many months of planning.

“It’s very overwhelming,” Hudson said. “We’ve been working on this for a very long time. We knew what we wanted to do. We wanted to have the charity part in the show so that it truly benefits everybody. We have quality people, and I’m very excited for the weekend.”

The market has exhibits offering everything for your Christmas shopping lists, including crafts, apparel, vintage finds, shabby chic, frames, home decor, DIY, recycled, repurposed, mobile boutiques, monogram gifts, home decor, gourmet foods, gift and garden, jewelry, toys and more.

The show includes several areas with vendors and exhibits, including Jingle Bell Junction, Christmas Craft Cove and Fa La La Vintage Farmer’s Market, The Christmas Café, Shop ‘N Drop and Mistletoe Manor, with some of those areas highlighting local charities.

“I’ve got some of the best vendors from around the state,” Hudson said. “There are all kinds of stuff here for everybody.”

In addition to shopping opportunities for the adults, children will have the chance to take pictures with Santa and write letters to him to update their Christmas wish list.

The market also includes an area called the “Grinch’s Grotto,” a special gathering place for guys to watch games on a supersized projector screen and sit back and enjoy lunch.

“That will be a fun place for ladies to drop their men off and go shop,” Hudson said. “It should be a fun time for everyone and that’s what we’re going for.”

The market includes a festival of trees that will be auctioned off, benefiting the House of Hope.

Other benefits and fundraising opportunities will continue throughout the weekend for other area charities. Additionally, there will be a ceremony for local veterans and their guests, held in conjunction with Quilts of Valor.

The Jingle Bell Market will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.