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Shopping by Lantern Light Opens holiday season
Wraps seasonal Main Street Market
Photo courtesy Statesboro Convention and Visitors Bureau
Shopping by Lantern Light returns in 2021 and is set for Tuesday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Synovus Bank parking lot. About 65 vendors are expected to be on hand to kick off the local Christmas shopping season. (Photo courtesy Statesboro Convention and Visitors Bureau)

Shopping by Lantern Light both kicks off the holiday season and concludes the 2021 in-person market season for Statesboro’s Main Street Farmers Market in the traditional location, the Synovus Bank parking lot off South Main and East Main streets.

The annual event is set for 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 23.

Vendors and exhibitors have reserved 65 booths for this festive shopping opportunity on the cusp of the seasons, reports Main Street Market Farmers Market Manager Relinda Walker. Besides produce growers and other whole foods purveyors from the weekly markets, which concluded last Saturday morning, Shopping by Lantern Light enlists vendors of two additional categories of goods: handmade gift items and prepared foods.

“We have a lot more holiday vendors, of things like holiday foods to take to Thanksgiving, and lots of table decorations, both Thanksgiving and Christmas, lots of holiday crafts, as well as our whole food vendors who are prepared to help fill up your Thanksgiving table,” Walker said. “So there’s food to buy to cook and there’s readymade food like cakes and pies, and then there’s also like jams and jellies and soaps and candles and all those kinds of things you might give as a gift.”

Blankets, wreaths, jewelry and art objects are other examples of available gift and décor items, as craft vendors will occupy probably more than one-third of the booths, she said.

Fresh fall produce such as greens to complete a feast will be available from growers including Jacobs Produce and Poor Robin Gardens, two of the Main Street Farmers Market’s biggest and both set to participate in Lantern Light this year. Hunter Cattle Company is slated to offer a full selection of meats, and Mill Creek Farms, items such as fresh eggs, pecans and specialty meats.

At least three food trucks – from 4&20 Bakers, known for their cupcakes and other baked goods; BigDog SnowCones, which will be making cotton candy; and Eagle Creek Brewing Company, with a menu of festival foods – will offer items that can be consumed on-site or taken home.

“It’s going to be a cold night, so there will also be coffee and hot cider and hot chocolate,” Walker said.

Tandoor & Tap is sponsoring music for the event, with Dan Larkin, a Georgia Southern University faculty member, slated to perform in the area between the parking areas set up as the festival grounds. Portable stadium lights at central locations will supplement the glow of lamps at every booth.

The Main Street Farmers Market operates under the auspices of the Downtown Statesboro Development Authority, with promotional assistance from the Statesboro Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Shopping by Lantern Light began over a decade ago and marks the final Farmers Market of the season which generally runs April through November. It’s pet friendly and admission and parking are free.

“We partner with various organizations on numerous events and Shopping by Lantern Light is one of many that isn’t just for locals,” said Visit Statesboro Executive Director Becky Davis. “We send a list of events to Statesboro’s hotel managers every week so their staff can share this information with guests and this festival is a great time to showcase our beautiful downtown to tourists.”

The web-based version of the market, Statesboro Market2Go, continues year-round, but with a pause this week because its weekly delivery date, Thursday, will be Thanksgiving. The Market2Go will be taking orders again beginning Friday.


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