For three days, Mori Gardens was turned into a winter wonderland that brought hundreds of people and more than 50 vendors and artisans together for a festive weekend experience.
Spirits were high at the second annual A Very Mori Christmas Palooza last weekend as shoppers browsed a wide variety of handmade and craft items on sale.
On top of seasonal décor, plants and Christmas trees, the market offered a little bit of something for both tourists and local shoppers.
Some of the vendors and artisans included award-winning jams made by Kim McQuhae of Gryphon Ridge Highlands, hand-drawn prints by Refined Linery, Gracie’s Christmas Cookies, Cakes by The Lake, To The Moon and Back jewelry, Aborigen Handcrafts, Limb Handmade, among others.
Visitors could also participate in a planter-making workshop, watch the staff make seasonal arrangements or make custom orders.
Boutique Linen Rentals provided arches and arbours for decor, and Sentineal Carriages and Creek Road Paints also provided sleighs where visitors could sit and take photos.
Saturday alone saw 1,100 visitors, which made it the busiest day of the show, said Mori Gardens’ sales and marketing consultant Miguel Mori.
In the end, it’s really a community partnership for both local artists and entrepreneurs, Mori said.
“Everyone works together to promote and support and make (the event) what it is.”
Santa Claus was also in attendance, posing for photos and entertaining children and adults alike.
The usual open house, which was held at Mori Gardens with a couple of vendors for more than 15 years, was expanded into a full market in 2018.
“It’s been lovely. We specialize in decoration, rental and décor so we wanted to show what we can do,” Mori told The Lake Report.
Throughout the weekend, various local musicians performed live including the NOTL Ukesters, Laurel and Hulley, Bryn Garwood DJ Tanner and Kyler Tapscott.
From the money raised, Mori Gardens will provide in-kind contributions to Niagara-on-the-Lake Palliative Care and to the Niagara-on-the-Lake Rotary Holiday House Tour, for which Mori will be providing holiday decorations.
“I can’t believe how unbelievably supportive Mori Gardens has been,” said Bonnie Bagnulo of NOTL Palliative Care.
“Tonie (Mori) and her family and the workers have a lovely place here and they offer so much to the community.
Palliative Care is a crucial service and we’re very blessed to have the money that we receive from Tonie and her functions.”
A small group of three longtime friends, comprised of Anna Torelle, Georgia Amato and Susan Deotto, said the market was “stunning.”
“It has lots of vendors, it’s very festive,” they said, adding they bought some jams and greenery at the market.
Niagara Falls resident Christine Andrew-Pearce, who came with her mother Jane and 11-month-old son Oscar, said it was their first time attending the event and called it “amazing.”
“I love it,” Andrew-Pearce told The Lake Report. “It’s beautiful and gets me into the spirit.”