The Downtown Merchants Association is calling out for more vendors who offer hand-made goods or food, or things like hand-crafted Christmas decorations, for its inaugural Loveliest Village Holiday Fair.
The Loveliest Village Holiday Fair will be a three-day celebration in downtown Auburn in early December that will bring the holiday market, live performances, Santa on the Corner, and the annual Christmas parade under one umbrella.
The DMA doesn't want to rain on anyone's parade, but shower Auburn and regional residents with more shopping options downtown during the holidays.
"The reason we're looking for very specific vendors is because we do want to make sure that vendors aren't coming in there and setting up anything that could be competitive to our merchants," said Jessica Kohn downtown coordinator for the DMA. "We are looking for stuff that is more handmade, handcrafted, gourmet foods or Christmas decor — things like that, that you might not find in downtown or really anywhere in Auburn."
Vendors may apply at www.downtownauburnonline/holidayfair. The deadline is set for Sept. 1, although Kohn said that could be extended.
"We might have to extend it a little bit if we're still looking for some more vendors," she said. "This is open to anybody. You don't have to live in Auburn or Opelika to be a vendor, so even if our residents know of a great vendor that they've seen in a city that they visited, let us know. We can reach out to them and invite them to this market."
Kohn added that the DMA was making this early push for vendors because many of them establish their holiday schedules well in advance.
"We realized that a lot of vendors who do participate in holiday shows and markets will probably be looking to fill their calendar soon," said Kohn, adding that the DMA has received a large number of applications from vendors over the past two weeks. "I just feel like we're still lacking in what we ultimately wanted. We've got a lot of great vendors who have applied and we most definitely look forward to seeing them at the market. But we wanted to bring something unique and something different to Auburn that you don't see in our other arts and crafts shows that take place in our community, so we're actively looking for vendors that have antiques or collectibles, and vendors who make holiday decor, ornaments, someone who makes vintage handmade clothing or maybe they collect vintage or handmade clothing that they could bring.
"We're just hoping that will add up and it'll be a nice diversified group of vendors right there in time for the holidays for people to be able to shop."
The Loveliest Village Holiday Fair will take place Dec. 3-5 in downtown Auburn.