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By Vicki Winger
Santa made a visit to Westward Christmas Market on Saturday, and families lined up to see him and get their pictures taken. The Market is in their nine years and was a lot of fun as usual, and the tables sold out. This year, the event was held a week earlier so it would not interfere with the Remembrance Day holiday and there was a greater variety of vendors at the market than ever.
Over 70 vendors were in attendance. They had displays from local artists, handmade crafts and knitting and clothing for sale. It wasn’t just crafts though. They also had a new tack display. There was some variety of food for sale as well, such as soft jerky from Medicine Hat Meat Traders. He can deliver throughout Alberta if you want a soft smoky chew this Christmas! Also, great for chewing is the flavoured caramel, which is available from a home business in Drayton Valley. Every year, they try to bring more variety to the public, said event organizer Sharlene Munday, and this year the market was a great success and fun for everyone.
Thanks to the Westward Market, the giving starts early. The entry fee was by donation – either something for the food bank or a small monetary donation. The event is a huge success in that way, as well. “Over the past few years, our food bank donations have increased to two truckloads by the end of the event,” said Munday. She would also like to thank everyone who helped out over the weekend, including the volunteers from St. Joseph School, the Pathfinders and the Rangers.
The Market also offered free flu shots from Rexall Drug Store. Pharmacist Dan Sander was available to everyone who wanted the vaccination. Over 15 people took the shot in the first few hours.