The Gasthaus Christmas Market in Peachland is back for another year.
The market, a traditional stop for many families in the Okanagan at this time of year since it opened in 2006, will run from Nov. 26 to Christmas Eve. And once again, it will feature a unique selection of hand-made European wood and glass ornaments, as well as other hand-made seasonal home decor, available nowhere else in the area.
All of the items the market sells are made in Europe, much of it in Germany and Poland, by artisans.
“The market has really become an annual tradition for people. They come from far and wide and people are always asking me, 'When is the market going to opening?” says Charles Sherman, the market’s owner.
“I love hearing their stories.”
For Sherman, whose career is as a mortgage specialist with Interior Savings Credit Union, the market is more than just a business venture.
He worked at the Gasthaus on the Lake, a popular restaurant in Peachland when the market was established by former owners Werner Fischer and Joerg Hoerath. He says he saw first-hand how much it meant to people. So five years ago, when it came up for sale, he bought the business and kept it going throughout the pandemic.
The business is a real family affair, with his wife, mom, dad, brother and sister all helping out in various ways. Sherman is there too, as much as possible, during the market’s one-month run.
The market is located in the Gasthaus on the Lake's courtyard out front, and at night turns into a magical European artisan market, illuminated by twinkling lights.
“We get people from throughout the Okanagan who come here every year just to go to it,” says Sherman. “It’s a destination for them and a big thing for a lot of people.”
With its wide array of unique ornaments and others Christmas home decorations, the market provides an old-world feel for Christmas, far removed from the technology and mass production often seen at this time of the year.
Sherman says many of the products the market sells come from small family businesses in Europe, run by the people who make the products. He says he deals with them directly.
“I can go and talk directly to the folks who make these items. The wooden items are all hand-carved or handmade and the glass is all mouth blown.”
In addition to the ornaments, other popular items at the market include traditional pyramids, when the heat from candles placed underneath cause a carousel with a rotor on top to spin. Incense burners are also popular, as are arches and carved trees.
The market has grown over the years and this year will feature a new display area adjacent to the market itself. Sherman says the plan is to expand the market into a second section of the courtyard next year.
So, if you want to take a step back from the hustle and bustle of the mall for part of your Christmas shopping this year, check out the Gasthaus Christmas Market in Peachland at 5790 Beach Avenue.
It will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily from Nov. 26 to Dec. 24.
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