By Faith Harper, firstname.lastname@example.org
Harvey Convention Center was transformed into a mystical Christmas marketplace Wednesday evening as patrons wined, dined and ushered in one of the holiday season’s beloved annual events — Mistletoe and Magic. Patrons were given a sneak peek into a holiday paradise at Mistletoe and Magic’s preview party “What happens under the Mistletoe Stays under the Mistletoe” on Wednesday. The market will be open Thursday and Friday with style shows, brunches, teas and other events to welcome the holidays.
“We are celebrating 35 years of Mistletoe and Magic and 35 years of giving back to our community,” Carissa Fisher chairwoman for Mistletoe and Magic.
The event features more than 90 vendors organized into rows and connected by strings of Christmas lights. The primary mom and pop operations sell a variety of items including adult and children’s clothing, toys, antiques, books, garden items, art, Christmas decor and food items.
There also is a stage for style shows dressed up in black cloth and lined with garlands, glittering ornaments and sprigs of mistletoe.
Catherine and Craig Harrison, of Tyler, said they have attended the event every year for 16 years. Mrs. Harrison said the pair usually attends the preview party to scope out the merchandise and comes back on following days to purchase gifts.
“It’s hard to visit, eat, have fun and shop — I’m not that good,” Mrs. Harrison joked.
The pair returns every year for many reasons.
“We come to support Junior League because of the great things they do with the money raised, we see a lot of friends and it’s fun to see what things are available, not only in Tyler, but in East Texas …” she said. “We like to support local businesses and mom and pop industries.”
Jemilynn McKee, owner of Haute Totz in Tyler, said this is her third time to sell at the event.
“The exposure to the community is so great because it’s people that may not always come to your store that could become lifelong customers,” Ms. McKee said.
Lowell Dunn, owner of the antique shop Canterbury Court in Corsicana, said he has driven in for eight years to be a part of the event.
“It’s a very good market for us,” he said. “We see a lot of return traffic from when we are here that come to the store later on during the year … and over eight years we have accumulated a lot of customers here, so, we are always excited to do Mistletoe.”
Ms. Fisher said so far the event has been a success and there are few new things on the table this year including new vendors and the one and only Jolly old Saint Nick.
“We have Santa that’s here with us,” she said. “He will be here Thursday, Friday and Saturday. That’s a first for us to have him here in the lobby.”
All proceeds from admission into any Mistletoe and Magic event go back into the community. The league hosts several events for youth and helps financially support local charitable organizations.
Tickets for any mistletoe event can be purchased at the door or on the league’s website www.juniorleagueoftyler.com .