Pirongia markets gear up for Christmas bonanza

Stallholder Ruth Webb’s creative daughters, Amy and Ruby, with the home-made crafts they plan to sell at the upcoming Pirongia markets.

Two markets coming up in Pirongia will offer Christmas buyers a wide selection of purchasing options, from crafts to woodwork, soaps to jewellery and a host of sweet-smelling things to boot.

The Pirongia Sunday Market comes up on November 29, with the usual December monthly market following on December 20, slightly earlier than usual to accommodate Christmas. Both are being held at the Pirongia Community Centre in Crozier St from 9am to 2pm on their respective days, and both are being run by the Mt Pirongia Lions Club.

The local Lions club took over the running of Pirongia’s monthly market at the beginning of this year. Lion Jim Henderson said the club had taken it over from a group of local craftspeople who ran the event in previous years.

“We will have around 40 stalls for the upcoming markets, run by craftspeople and other individuals from all around the district, including Morrinsville, Taupo, Hamilton and Te Awamutu,” he said. “We like to call it a craft fair rather than a craft or farmer’s style market, as we like to keep our focus more on crafts.”

Listed among stallholders is a selection of home-made or home-grown items, including lavender products, alpaca knits and felts, jewellery, soap, candles, jams and preserves, bacon products, wooden toys and other woodcraft, plants, baking, art and more.

Much the same fare will be on offer in December, but there will be even more items geared to Christmas.

Jim said all the proceeds from the markets would be channelled back into the community.

A regular stallholder for the past three years is Ruth Webb, of Ruth’s Re-Creations, who sells sustainable crafts at the markets.  She is a passionate exponent of sustainability and waste management, and recently held a free community workshop in Te Awamutu, entitled Zero Waste Christmas Ideas.

She said the market will also feature two stalls manned by eight youngsters. “The idea is to give children a chance to be involved and become the next generation of crafters.  There is so much learning they can take away from manning a stall at markets like these.  First, they have to source the materials, then make their items and handle the process of selling.  It teaches a combination of skills.

“During lockdown, I taught my nine-year-old to knit … she has made Christmas tree decorations. My younger daughter has made Christmas elves,” said Ruth.  “Another youngster at the market is selling succulents he grew, another is selling suncatchers.  These markets are increasingly selling a little bit of everything.”

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