West Coast Christmas Show & Marketplace

Dates and Venue 22-24 November | Fraser Valley Trade & Exhibition Centre, Abbotsford

Reviewer Cassie Silva

The first exhibit I always visit is the Festival of Trees, where local charities compete with trees creatively decorated around their organization’s theme. I always enjoy learning more about local non-profit organizations, as well as marvelling at their beautiful creations. The foyer of the marketplace is the most festive place to be, as it includes the Festival of Trees, pet photos with Santa, entertainment at the Sounds of the Holiday stage (I was lucky enough to take in the South Fraser Community Band), and poinsettia and ornament sales.

The marketplace itself, while most booth decorate festively, seemed to feature many of the same exhibitors who come to most Tradex shows. The majority of the goods on sale did not seem to be “Christmas themed” though it was certainly an appropriate place to do some early Christmas shopping. One unique addition to this year’s show was a significant amount of booths with crafts and homemade goods, rather than just commercial goods.

The Home for the Holidays Stage is always worth checking out. Food Network Celebrity Anna Olson offered tips on holiday baking, and other presentations included how to cook the perfect turkey, and how to festively decorate your home. The Dairy Farmers of Canada also hosted regular interactive cheese seminars which always proves to be a crowd draw.

Parking was complimentary and a shuttle was provided from the parking lot. While I always enjoy coming to the West Coast Christmas Show, apparently so do many others, as I found this year to be too crowded to fully enjoy myself. Despite difficulty navigating aisles and getting close to popular booths, I still managed to do a bit of holiday shopping and left feeling festive.

© 2013 Cassie Silva