Swakopmund-It’s official, Christmas is here. And to celebrate this fantastic festive family time, decorative markets have sprung up offering, gift buying alternatives to put under the tree, whilst supporting local craft and food stall vendors. Donna Collins surveys the X-Mas goodies at the Coast
What a better way to wind down the year, than with a cool stroll through Swakopmund’s traditional Christmas Fair which opened last weekend, as old as 43 years this year hosted by the municipality here. The traditional ‘Weihnachtsmar’ open air market serves to announce the start of the festive season, and welcome visitors to the coastal town together with the significant switching on of the Xmas lights by the Mayor. For years, this Fair has become the highlight of the Christmas experience at the Coast, and is the success story of the Swakopmund Council working tirelessly to turn this annual event into a much loved start to the holidays.
With dozens of stalls set up under the avenue of palm trees, as always the market provides exhibitors, craft people, artists, small and medium enterprises and food vendors with a platform to earn some extra money. It also provides last-minute Christmas shoppers with a variety of goodies while supporting the efforts of our local entrepreneurs. Stalls ranging from hand-made decorations, clothing, toys, paintings, nick-knacks, beaded wire ornaments, driftwood Christmas trees are on display. The many food stalls were also well supported, as the aroma of braai-vleis and freshly rolled pancakes fill the air.
Meanwhile, just across town a new market concept has sprung up and calls itself the ‘Salt Market – a large first of its kind lifestyle taste market, which resembles the popular Hout Bay market, with everything packed under one roof even live music.
The ‘Salt Market’, opening daily from 14 December till Saturday, December 23, has set the scene for lively decorated stalls, offering a host of gourmet food and beverage stands.
Tables and chairs entice customers to sit down and enjoy the mouth-watering temptations, varying from curried prawns, fish dishes, preserved fruits, sushi, Bratwurst, smoked meats and confectionary to mention just some. Organisers have utilised the huge old Edgars empty shop space opposite the Hansa Hotel, and turned it into a colourful ‘flea market’ concept, where hand-made products ranging from clothing, decor, shoes plus natural face and body products all blend into this organic market atmosphere. The public also wishes the Salt Market becomes a permanent feature in town, so that they can get the feeling of celebrating Christmas all year round.