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In this weekly feature, we put five questions before someone in the community. Today, we chat with Lindsay Gagnon, Empire Market director.

1. What is the annual Holiday Market hosted by the Joplin Empire Market?

The fifth annual Holiday Market runs every Saturday from 10 am. to 2 p.m. starting Nov. 19 through Dec. 24 at Joplin Empire Market, 931 E. Fourth St. It will be open Dec. 24 for its Christmas Eve Tinsel and Tidings market.

The Holiday Market will have fresh produce, holiday tunes, free gift wrapping, and feature artisan vendors with handcrafted items.

The Downtown Joplin Alliance, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the revitalization of the downtown community, opened the Joplin Empire Market inside a historic brick warehouse in 2018. The four-season market offers produce, meats, coffee, wine and more with events held year-round.

We wanted to come up with fun and engaging events throughout the winter season to bring customers in and to keep people coming to the market. That’s originally how the event got started, and since we’re open year-round, why not have it be on multiple Saturdays, as opposed to one day being the market day?

2. What can people expect to find at the Holiday Market, and did you say free gift wrapping?

We’ll have produce vendors where people can still find seasonal veggies, as well as bread, coffee and meat. We’ll have free gift wrapping on Dec. 10. I’m hoping that we’ll have gift wrapping on more than just one Saturday.

The Youth Volunteer Corps of Joplin currently is scheduled to do free gift wrapping on Dec. 10, so if you purchase any gifts that Saturday, you can take it over to their table.

We’ll have a holiday photo booth to take pictures with family and friends. We’re hoping to get a Santa scheduled at least one or two of the weekends, as well. We’ll be posting updates on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/JoplinEmpireMarket.

The most current list of market vendors can be found on Fridays where we post a market report, so customers who are curious who’s going to be there on Saturday, they can follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

3. How many vendors have signed up for the Holiday Market?

Depending on the Saturday, we’ll have anywhere from 30 to 35 vendors. If anyone is interested, they can still apply, but spaces are limited.

We accept vendor applications year-round, and we have a wait list where we keep everyone’s information on file. If we have cancellations or something, I use that wait list to reach out to vendors who have been interested in selling.

Our vendors really look forward to having the influx of customers, and the extra traffic to the market during what may normally be a slower season for them.

4. Will online orders and curbside pickup still be available during the Holiday Market?

Yes. It will be available. We have been offering Empire Curbside and online orders since the pandemic. We still have regular weekly sales on that. As long as people are shopping online, we‘ll keep offering it.

Customers may place their orders from 8 p.m. Tuesday through 8 p.m. Thursday each week, and drive-thru pickup will be available the following Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Empire Market, 931 E. Fourth St.

We’re also offering an additional curbside pickup date for Thanksgiving, which will start at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19, and will run until 8 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 21. It will give our vendors time to prepare the orders and items. Customers can pick these up on Nov. 23, the day before Thanksgiving.

Online orders can be made at https://localline.ca/joplin-empire-market.

5. Are there any days this year when the Joplin Empire Market will be closed?

Downtown Joplin Alliance will be closed for the holidays from Dec. 25 through the first of the year. There will be no market on Saturday, Dec. 31. It’s a little bit different than in the past. It’s new this year. Usually, we’re open every single Saturday year-round, but historically, that New Year’s Eve Saturday has been slow.

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