City lights up holiday shopping season

Shop Small Holiday Market


Gracia Boley

Christmas tree lit with Christmas lights in downtown Whitewater after tree lighting ceremony.

Gracia Boley, Assistant Community Editor

The holiday spirit has come to town. All those young and old gather around, for the Christmas spirit has brought joy to the city of Whitewater.

Citizens rang in the season with the community’s first annual Shop Small Holiday Market at Cravath Lakefront Park, which runs through to the end of December. The event highlights all things that support local talent: musicians, vendors, entrepreneurs, artisans and many more. 

The market hosted musical performances from Whitewater Middle School Band student duets, Whitewater High School Carolers, UW-Whitewater Chancellor’s Quartet, UW-Whitewater String Quartet, UW-Whitewater Jazz Sextet, Keith Minikel and Lakeside Brass, to name a few. 

Local vendor at the first annual shop small market preparing their products for individuals to buy
(Gracia Boley)

“We would love for the community and any residents in town to make a stop down to the market and help support local business and local entrepreneurs,” says Executive Director of Discover Whitewater Kellie Carper. “We would really like for everyone to come on down and really get into the holiday spirit and enjoy the holiday weekend.” 

Local businesses such as Ruth Jones Crafts, ReVamp Nutrition, Usborne Books, SJWHandmade, Nordskov Coffee, and many more were at the market. Also, in attendance were food trucks such as Mr. P’s Grilled Cheese, Sarah’s Sweet Treats, and Sweet Spot. All those who came to this event had the option to enjoy hot cocoa or coffee. There was also a Gumdrop Glogg Garden there that offered adults mulled wine. Boy Scout troops helped staff and maintained the fire pits around the event. 

“There is nothing better than Christmas lights and a nice hot cocoa. The event itself was a great family event that my family and I enjoyed,” says attendee, Michaela Collins. 

This event was not only just to feature local and regional vendors, but it was also a place where all those could meet the one and only, Santa. There was a meet and greet opportunity with Santa. Children were able to meet Santa and tell him what they would like for Christmas. Children and their family also had the chance to walk around downtown to enjoy a holiday tale sponsored by the Irvin L. Young Library. For those who might have missed the chance to meet him or might have been on the shy side, the Cravath Lakefront Community Center had a place where all individuals were invited to write a letter to Santa. Alongside the letters to Santa, there was also a place for kids to do crafts, a Little Elves Workshop, and a play area. There were fun games from Jenga to Connect4 and crafts such as drawing.

Holiday Shop Small sign near local downtown Whitewater restaurant.
(Gracia Boley)

If those interested in saving the memory of this event and/or felt the need to share their socials, there were not one but 12 selfie stations at the event. All stations were set around the event area and each station featured a cool holiday theme for all those who chose to get their photos. 

“I thought the selfie stations were a great touch to the holiday event. My friends and I enjoyed the sleigh station because it was a fun photo to share,” says event attendee Brady Lyons. 

At the end of the event, all those gathered around a huge Christmas tree near downtown Whitewater and listened to carolers from Whitewater High School as Santa himself helped light the Christmas tree. A beautiful, and bright, way to light up the downtown holiday spirit here in Whitewater.