More Than 230 Vendors at the 9th Annual Haven Holiday Market
by James Coulter
For the past nine years, the Haven Holiday Market has allowed many local businesses and entrepreneurs to sell their wares to thousands of eager attendees looking for holiday gifts.
Marci, the vendor for Sweet Bottom Aromatherapy, has been attending the annual holiday market ever since it started. Every year, she sells her aromatherapy scents with new aromas at every new event. She loves her customers, and she loves the event’s efficient organization and marketing.
“It was a very successful event,” she said of this year’s market. “We love it when customers come to see our new products, and they always leave with a big smile. I hope [it] becomes bigger and clientele grows. The event is always successful and well put together. We love it.”
From homemade wreaths and ornaments to consignment clothing and even fresh produce, anything and everything was sold at the 9th Annual Haven Holiday Market. More than 230 vendors were set up at Central Park, and hundreds, if not thousands, of attendees flocked to Downtown Winter Haven.
Local author J.C. Alexandre attended to sell copies of his young adult fantasy novel, “The Light Prince: Grail”, along with several complimentary novellas, including the second volume of his prequel series, “The Light Prince: Prelude to Destiny.”
“Usually, at local markets like these, I’m lucky if I sell even one book; but with so many visitors at this event, I managed to sell nearly a dozen and even give away a few free copies to paying customers,” he said. “I even left one of my books at the free library box near the fountain in the park.”
Sergio Cruz, the event coordinator, has been hosting the Haven Holiday Market for nearly a decade. He hosts at least two downtown markets every month, though this annual holiday event draws in even larger crowds and vendors, he said.
He and his sons work hard every year to put it on. They woke up early that morning and started preparing around 4 AM. While the event started officially at 10 AM, visitors were starting to arrive as early as 9 AM and even 8 AM.
“The market was as expected: it was greater and bigger,” he said. “I owe the success to my people, the vendors. They are like a great family. They follow instructions. They cooperate. And they are willing to have fun. I love what I do and I love working with the people I do business with.”
For more information about future markets, visit their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/WinterHavenSaturdayMarkets