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Small, local vendor markets make for safer gift-hunting


While the power of the holiday spirit is said to transform even the most shriveled, stingiest soul, it still has to take precautions this year. Holiday shopping 2020 requires strategy, so consider some local options to balance safety with thoughtful gift-hunting and seasonal atmosphere.

The Rochester Public Market has been hosting Holidays at the Market for more than 25 years, combining the lively energy and practical nature of this outdoor venue with the talents of skilled local vendors. Visitors can find cut trees, hand-made wreaths, unique craft and food items, and more — with lights, music, and limited lines. Holidays at the Market continues this Sunday, Dec. 13, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Thursday, Dec. 17, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Pack a mask or two and check the website for the most updated information:

This Saturday and Sunday, you can travel over the river and through the woods to Rochester Folk Art Guild’s Holiday Shopping Weekend in Middlesex. See the artistry up close at the wood shop and open studios, find special “seconds” on sale, and explore lots of artisan shops along the way. Holiday Shopping Weekend will be open this Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 12 & 13, from noon to 4 p.m.

Meanwhile, Geneva Historical Society continues its Holiday Market, full of both handmade and donated items to support the museum — from preserves and specialty foods to collectibles and decorations. Visitors can enter a raffle for baskets of Finger Lakes goodies or a private tour of Geneva’s Rose Hill Mansion.
For the extra cautious, 30-minute and 60-minute private shopping appointments can be booked in advance. Holiday Market runs through Dec. 19, on Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.