Historical posters including a portrait of Marilyn Monroe formed a wall-to-wall backdrop of Cathy Ripley’s market stall at the Christmas craft fair at the Pictou County Wellness Centre Saturday.
Even more historical items were laid out in front of her: antique chinaware and plates and old toys from the early and mid-20th Century, decades before Xboxes and iPhones became must-have items.
“A lot of kids don't have access to the old toys, so we bring in a lot of vintage toys to get history back into the children’s lives. We have a lot of kids stopping and asking questions,” said Ripley.
Theirs was not the only stall harking back to a simpler time: another stall sold antique banknotes, including old dollar bills and even a Japanese rupee used in occupied Burma during the Second World War.
And customers seemed to appreciate it.
Shopper Christie Marcott was on the hunt for a homemade wooden stand for her family’s wine collection and perhaps some hockey accessories for her father’s Christmas gift.
Plenty of wood-carved items were on offer, including decorative signs.
“There’s a lot of different things to pick from this year,” said Marcott, who lives in Westville.
Her older sister Kati, who lives in Halifax, had more edible delights in mind.
“Mostly I’m just here for baked goods,” Kati told The News.
She too was in luck. Haligonian Craig Robar stood just feet away from her at his cookie and pastry stall, enjoying a brisk trade in gingerbreads, strudels, pretzels, cakes and many more goodies.
“Everything is basically hand-made,” said Robar.
He was running his stall on behalf of a German-Canadian woman in Hubbards, whose treats have been sold at markets across the province including the Halifax waterfront.
German recipes featured prominently, including Bavarian-style cakes and strudels in both apple and blueberry flavours.
Indeed, Christmas-themed markets are also a time-honoured German tradition dating back to the 1300s.
Typically starting in November, street vendors sell homemade and other wares in the central squares of Cologne, Nuremberg, Berlin and other cities. They are popular with tourists and locals alike.