The holidays are steeped in tradition.
From sipping hot chocolate to caroling to decorating the tree, families have long gathered together for celebratory rituals. This year, the Barlow Fair Board is hoping to add going to the fair to that list with its first Christmas Fair.
"It is our first year. We're really excited about it," said fair board member and event coordinator Denise Tessum.
The fair, which will take place Dec. 1 and 2, has been planned to coincide with the seventh annual Barlow Area Christmas in the Village which will be held Dec. 1. The event was created to foster community awareness and to encourage Christmas shoppers to take advantage of independent artisans and local retailers, said event founder Susie Ashley.
"We are a quaint little village that has a lot to offer, and I hope people come out and see it," said Ashley.
The event has grown in the past seven years. Christmas in the Village began in 2006 with 27 vendors. Now it boasts 25 stops and around 125 vendors.
Christmas in the Village
- Dec. 1, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for craft vendors, regular store hours for local retailers
- Various locations
The Scenic Hills Lions Club Illuminated Christmas Parade:
- Dec 1., 5 p.m. (line up is at 4 p.m.)
- Starts at Barlow-Vincent Elementary School and ends at the Barlow Fairgrounds
Barlow Christmas Fair:
-Dec. 1, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., vendors close at 7 p.m.
-Dec. 2, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The Barlow Area Festival of Lights
-6 p.m. to 9 p.m. every day in December
"My goal is that people will start at one stop and make a big circle," said Ashley.
Stops featuring local crafters, such as The Barlow Library, Barlow-Vincent Elementary School and certain home-based businesses will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and retail merchants will be open their regular store hours, she said.
The all day shopping event ends with the Scenic Hills Lions Club Illuminated Christmas Parade. The parade begins at 5 p.m. at Barlow-Vincent Elementary and leads up to the Barlow Fairgrounds where the Barlow Area Festival of Lights and the Christmas Fair will be getting into full swing just as the parade ends.
"It all worked out really well. The parade invites people up to see the lights and the Christmas Fair," said Tessum.
Shoppers will be able to warm up with hot chocolate, hot apple cider, chicken noodles and other concessions.
"It's typical Barlow fair food, warm and yummy comfort foods while you are shopping," said Tessum.
The fair will also feature additional vendors, as well as plenty of entertainment.
"Wolf Farm will have a horse drawn covered wagon, decorated in Christmas fashion with sleigh bells on the horses," said Tessum.
Visitors can also warm themselves around a large fire pit, interact with Civil War soldiers decked out in winter regalia and take in ornamental iron working and wood carving demonstrations.
All of the fair's entertainment offerings are free of charge, but they will be accepting food and monetary donations that will go to the Western Washington County Food Pantry, Tessum added.
Tessum said she hopes to get another tradition started that Saturday night. From 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. the fair will be hosting the first community Christmas dance.
The fair will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 1 with vendors closing up shop at 7 p.m. and reopening for shoppers Dec. 2 from noon to 5 p.m.
Fliers for Christmas in the Village can be found at retailers throughout the Barlow area. More information can also be found on the website www.barlowchristmas.com. More information about the Christmas Fair can be found on the Barlow Fairgrounds Facebook page or at www.barlowfair.com.