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More Than 700 Visit Byron Holiday Market | News

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More Than 700 Visit Byron Holiday Market
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Ornaments, jewlery, and hand-made crafts were just some of the gifts hundreds of shoppers found at Byron's Gingerbread Market on Saturday.

Nearly 50 vendors and more than 700 people came out to do some holiday shopping with the small businesses.

The market was held at the Municipal Conference Center, and some people that came out say they plan to stuff their stockings with local goods.

"It means more, anybody can buy something at a store," says shopper Lisa Burgess.

Burgess says she's guilty of getting caught in the Black Friday madness.   By browsing the small shops, she says she's able to give everyone on her list a unique gift.

Vendor Kellie Sumner says gifts and gadgets at mom-and-pop shops are different than mega-chain stores.

"It gives you things that are personal and things that aren't just the standard, cookie-cutter gifts," says Sumner.

"It's peaceful, it's quiet, the Christmas music just gets you in the mood for Christmas," Burgess says of the Gingerbread Market atmosphere.

Burgess says she's been looking forward to the Gingerbread Market for weeks.

With knitting, painting, and a few holiday treats served, vendors say there isn't much that you can't find locally.

"If I sit and make a quilt by hand, it means more, because every stitch is stitched with love," says quilter Para Vinson.

Vinson says it's important for people to support small businesses within their communities.

"It helps our economy, it helps keep Byron growing," she says.

Burgess says she plans to continue to hit up neighborhood places that offer gifts from the heart without the name-brand tag.

"These people are so creative, and I am so not creative.  So, I let them do the work and I benefit from it," she says.

Vendors say they hope what bargain hunters find Saturday will get them shopping locally year round.

This is the second year of the Gingerbread Market. 

Saturday morning also marked the first national "Small Business Saturday."  It's a campaign that encourages people to support smaller venues in their community.

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