To make up for it, businesses are staying open for the holiday shopping season, lighting up the huts and “making it magical,” says owner of Kismet Design Katie Richard, who’s organizing Christmas at the Cove alongside Jenna McNeil.
All products are handmade, from ornaments to face masks to artisan soaps, dog collars and more. There will be 11 vendors participating on each of the six weekends, as well as three nearby restaurants. “We’re supporting over 100 local craftspeople,” Richard says.
In the summer, Fisherman’s Cove is usually booming with business but this year, because of the borders being closed, businesses lost the majority of their sales which came from tourists. But Richard says store owners were given a discount on the rent they’d normally pay, and Eastern Passage locals were also helpful in keeping them afloat. Richard says they’re doing this to thank the locals “because, without them, we really would have been in trouble.”
Richard says Christmas at the Cove is similar to going to a craft show—but a safer alternative because of the pandemic. “We’re sort of acting like sort of a makeshift crafts market but somewhere where you can keep on going indoors, so you don’t have to be outside in the cold.”
Some holiday markets are still going on during the pandemic, but Richard says because they’ve been in business for the past couple of months, the Fisherman’s Cove shops have a better handle on safety precautions.
The regular social distancing rules apply. There’s also a limit to the number of people who can be in the stores, and a 250-people limit in Fisherman’s Cove. “Because it’s so spread out, there’s never really a lot of congestion,” adds Richard.
Christmas at the Cove runs from November 13th to December 20th from Friday to Saturday from 11 am-7 pm and Sunday from 12 pm to 5 pm. “We are open for the holidays,” says Richard. “And we want to make sure that people know that we are here, and we’re staying open for them.”