Saturday was Newton's Whistle Stop Marketplace, a taste of the Holidays. The city took the opportunity to kick off the holiday season. From 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., customers had the chance to shop for unique, homemade items and sample quality food. Approximately 16 vendors participated in the Whistle Stop Marketplace. For $10, they could share their creations.
As that train came rumbling into Newton, so did local residents. They were there for the first ever Whistle Stop Marketplace. The shopping, sampling, and holiday festivities were held at the Newton Train Depot.
"We've got vendors from all over the central part of the state. We've got food tasting booths. We've got handmade linens, handmade pottery. We have a student from Mississippi State who is featuring her art. She's an art major. Just from all over the state we are featuring different people and showing what they can do," says Leigh Anne Whittle, a supporter of the community and Newton County Chamber of Commerce.
The vendors who participated in the activities bring with them talent, creativity, and uniqueness. Their items are all homemade and a little different from what you could find at a department store. One of those vendors is Angie Burks. She was happy to participate in the first ever Whistle Stop Market Place.
"I think this is a great event for Newton. A lot of people come out doing their Christmas shopping today. There's been a lot of fun and fellowship and we have such a great variety here. Most of these artists are from Newton that have homemade stuff, so it is great to show off our talent here in Newton," describes Burks.
So will residents get another Whistle Stop Market Place in the future? Well, according to organizers and vendors they are pleased with the crowd thus far and hope to bring the events back in the future.
"We hope to do this again. We want it to get bigger and better. We want it to grow. We are asking for support, so if anybody can support us by supporting the local Newton Chamber and we'll make it bigger and better next year. Right now we have a pretty good turnout."
"For the first hour we have had a great turnout. The crowd has been really good today. Of course, you know, you hear the Christmas music going and it kind of puts you in the Christmas spirit, so people are thinking about Christmas shopping now, so it's great."
For shoppers and vendors alike, the timing could not be better.
"If you notice, we chose the weekend right before Thanksgiving to kick it off and get people in the spirit."
And the spirit was alive right along with the message of Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas.