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|Chamber's second Merry Market is Friday and Saturday at The Wharf|
ORANGE BEACH, AL - The Coastal Alabama Business Chamber will have its second annual Merry Market on Friday, Dec. 13 and Saturday, Dec. 14 at the Orange Beach Events Center at The Wharf.
Merry Market premiered in 2012 as the Chamber's first Christmas-themed Gifts and Arts & Crafts Expo and as part of the organization's Coastal Christmas initiative, which also began last year.
"The first event in 2012 exceeded our expectations for not only attendance, but also for participation from the arts & crafts community," Ed Rodriguez, President and CEO of the Chamber said. "The most frequent request we had for 2013 was to make it a two-day event."
Merry Market will feature free admission to the public and provides an opportunity for the arts and crafts community to promote their wares at the height of Christmas shopping season. Scores of vendor exhibits, a children's activity area, live radio remote, plenty of parking, and proximity to The Wharf's holiday activities round out the ingredients for a perfect day for the entire family. (The children's activity area will have $6 charge payable in advance or $10 at the door.)
The event is the same weekend as the Chamber's Christmas Lighted Boat Parade. This year's Boat Parade will be Dec. 14. The Wharf has become a popular spot for both residents and visitors to view the parade. It is also the judging venue for participating watercraft.
Coastal Christmas was started last year by a community partnership of organizations dedicated to promoting and packaging our community as both a shopping and visitor destination during the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years Day.
Because those weeks are traditionally slower for many businesses, the Chamber's Special Events and Tourism Committee created the Coastal Christmas concept to promote the many existing events and to encourage the creation of new special events. Merry Market was one of those new events.
The Chamber's Coastal Christmas Partners include the City of Orange Beach, the City of Gulf Shores, Gulf Shores-Orange Beach Tourism, and Gulf State Park.
"Boat Parade weekend is the 'anchor' weekend for Coastal Christmas because it falls just about in the middle of the season," Rodriguez said. "The Boat Parade itself is almost 30 years old and it was the perfect existing event around which to anchor other activities.
“Coastal Christmas begins on Thanksgiving and includes many Black Friday shopping activities, but it also runs all the way through New Years Day and that means it also includes the Polar Dips at the Flora-Bama and The Hangout."For a complete listing of holiday events see the Coastal Christmas Calendar.