The Minturn Market | VailDaily.com

The Minturn Market

Christine Ina Casillas

At the Minturn Market people can enjoy the spirit of the holiday season shopping in the historic town, sitting down by a fire pit, relaxing and eating ” or watching a live ice carving by local artists.

“It’s really nice to stay in the afternoon, walking around the shops and staying into the evening,” said Nicole Magistro, event coordinator for the Minturn Winter Market. “With all the Christmas lights, it’s really beautiful.

“Last year, we tried to have the winter market in the evening but it seemed to be too cold. When all the snow piles around, it provides a nice, Christmas holiday atmosphere.

“The coolest thing about the Winter Market is that you can go there all day or part of the day and there’s always something for you to do,”

Magistro added. “It’s a social thing. Usually people go to these other formal holiday events. Here, you can relax, and you’re not obliged to buy anything or rushed around. It’s a laid-back, true holiday experience.”

The winter market with 56 vendors is smaller than the popular summer Minturn Market, which has more than 90 vendors. Some of the summer vendors will return for the winter market.

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One of the vendors will bring baskets full of salsas made from different produce vendors from the summer, Magistro said. The vendor canned the produce over the summer to make the Minturn Market salsa for the winter.

Shoppers will find the same festive atmosphere with vendors specializing in seasonal dishes, crafts and gourmet food, complete with holiday caroling, tree lighting and ice carving.

The ice carving event is scheduled for Saturday and the pieces made by local ice carving artists Scott Rella of Fear No Ice and Andreas Grogger of Andy’s Ice Carving will be for sale, she said.

“Some of the larger pieces are kind of pricey,” she said. “But people will have them to put on their front lawn or wherever they want to put them.”

The sculptures will be small enough to fit into the car, she said. But if people want to special order any larger pieces, they can do so.

“The ice carvings are so cool after a fresh snow and the way the light reflects in the ice,” she said. “It’s definitely a nice addition to the market.”

Kids have a chance to visit with Santa Claus, as well as decorate the tree, sprinkle gingerbread cookies and get their faces painted. Guests also will be able to enjoy locally-made jams, homemade soups, fresh-roasted nuts and holiday pies.

Carolers will entertain the guests each Saturday, beginning with the Children’s Choir this weekend, followed by the Dickens Carolers and Mountain Harmony.

This year, however, there will be no shuttle service into town, Magistro said. People can park at the Minturn Municipal lot or use off-street parking.

“The winter market is on a much smaller scale than the summer market,” Magistro said. “It’s more intimate. The weather is unpredictable. People can park closer to the market ” within walking distance ” and get to see all the decorations.”