Mistletoe Market aims to benefit a good cause

Published 3:05 pm Thursday, September 29, 2016

This weekend Southeast Texans will get the chance to “shop ‘til they drop” and get an early start on their holiday shopping in one location — all while benefitting a good cause.

The United Way of Mid & South Jefferson County is hosting their inaugural Mistletoe Market from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Oct. 1 and 2 at the Robert “Bob” Bowers Civic Center on 3401 Cultural Drive in Port Arthur.

Day passes are $10 each and 2-day passes are $15. Each attendee will receive a colored wristband; so, they will be able to come and go as they wish.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The event is designed to fulfill shoppers’ early holiday needs, but also to support the UWMSJC.

“We have been looking at different options for a signature event for United Way,” Janie Johnson, Executive Director for the UWMSJC, said. “And shopping is definitely a passion for a lot of us trying to come up with an idea.”

Johnson also thought that there weren’t enough holiday events in the area, and so decided, “We should do that.”

Apparently, she was not the only one to think so.

“Motiva heard about it and was very interested in helping us out,” Johnson said. “They signed up with us as title sponsor.”

As for the types of vendors that would be there, the Mistletoe Market looks to include many varieties.

“We have recruited far and wide, literally across the country,” Johnson said.

“We did a lot of research for different vendors, especially those who travel through the area for other events. We reached out to vendors from one coastline to the other.”

Among the many vendors scheduled to attend, Johnson felt confident that consumers would be able to find something to their liking.

“There’s some really cute stuff from Bea Lane Boutique,” Johnson said. “We’ll also have TAB, a jewelry company that collects typewriters 50 to 100 years old and makes jewelry from the [typewriter] keys. Everything is unique that she does.

“And she’s going to have a typewriter set up so children can type a letter to Santa Claus.”

Johnson also mentioned Bullseye Bow, a vendor that will sell kid-friendly bows and arrows with balls on the ends of their arrows.

“It explains our motto: ‘From black cats to Santa’s hat and everything in between’,” Johnson said, when referring to the wide range of items and goods to be sold at the Market.

“Lowe’s is coming and will have job applications to hand out. They’re also raffling off a Christmas tree,” Johnson said. “Then there’s a lady who takes old wine bottles and repurposes them as light fixtures.”

When asked about Mistletoe Market’s importance to the area, Johnson replied, “Because it’s giving back to the community.”

“All proceeds go back to United Way in helping make lasting changes and impacts in the community.”

Johnson emphasized the “kid-friendly, family-friendly” atmosphere of the Market, saying that Santa Claus would be present to take pictures with the kids.

“This is just the beginning. We’re already making plans for the second [Mistletoe Market] to be bigger than the first. We’re already looking forward to the next one.”

Johnson was also confident in the Market’s contribution to the local economy.

“It’s definitely an economic booster,” Johnson said. “We have several people coming from out of town. It’ll help the economy when they pay for the [local] hotel rooms and pay for the cost of eating here.”

The executive director for UWMSJC was excited for what the Mistletoe Market could bring to Port Arthur.

“It also provides something for our community to do,” Johnson said. “It will be a fun day at the Civic Center with family and help get everyone in the holiday mood.

“At the same time, it will provide back to the community and provide a safe place for shopping.”

And in what may become another motto for the Mistletoe Market, Johnson said:

“Everyone will get to do something fun and get to do something to help those in need.”