Boston’s Snowport Holiday Market spotlights ‘unsung heroes’

Boston’s Seaport District has been transformed into the city’s very own winter wonderland. With a gigantic Christmas tree, lights and holly strung along every corner and holiday classics from Wham! to Ariana Grande playing through the streets, Snowport is spreading holiday cheer.

The Holiday Market at Snowport boasts over 120 vendors, varying from artisan candles, to alpaca fleece, to handcrafted lobster nativity scenes. The annual event takes place from Nov. 11 to Dec. 31 in the Seaport District.

Michael Wood, senior public relations manager at Constant Contact, the title sponsor for the Holiday Market at Snowport, said the event is really about supporting small businesses during their most lucrative time of year.

Seaport comes alive each winter with the annual Holiday Market at Snowport, the perfect place to find a holiday gift. DANNY DOLAN/DFP STAFF

“Everybody wants to support small businesses, especially during the holidays,” Wood said. “Small businesses fly under the radar for a lot of the year, and there are moments near the holiday season where I think everybody realizes how important they are, and they really come to life.”

Andrea Malm, the head of marketing for Crystal Rock Maple which sells pure maple syrup, is at Snowport for the first time this year. The company draws in customers by displaying maple syrup in small shot glasses and insisting each customer stop and try a sample.

“It’s been wonderful foot traffic,” Malm said. “It’s really great for our demographic. Ours is gift-giving and home use.”

The vendors, decorated with tinsel and twinkly lights, offer a wide variety of items and range from options in food and drink, gourmet gifts, home decor and toys and games. The stars of Snowport, however, are the passionate, authentic front-people for each booth.

Wood said the holiday season is truly the time for these small businesses to shine.

“It’s great to see some of this stuff come to life because small businesses are unsung heroes for a lot of the year, and it’s nice to have this kind of an activation,” Wood said.

Tabitha Gilligan, an artist’s assistant at Melsy’s Illustrations, another booth at the event which sells prints, greeting cards and other collections, said that Snowport has “really brought the community together.”

“It’s a nice area for people to meet with friends, get food, shop for presents for Christmas and we even have Christmas trees here,” Gilligan said. “It’s just a really cool atmosphere to visit in this up and coming area.”

Gilligan said the experience of being a part of Snowport has been “overwhelmingly positive.”

“We’ve gotten so many new customers, as well as ones that have returned from past years or even from different countries to visit us,” Gilligan said.

In the wake of Small Business Saturday, Wood described the real meaning behind the Holiday Market.

“It’s not always clear to people what exactly are small businesses,” Wood said. “You think of the coffee shop down the street… but there’s so much more than that.”

Wood said that the interest in the market “exploded” this year. While it has been “well received” for the past few years, this year it doubled in size and in number of vendors. He said that anecdotal evidence suggests that attendance has also been up.

“There’s an appetite for supporting small businesses that’s pretty strong in the city and in the region,” Wood said. “The Boston area in general is, I’d say, fervently supportive of small businesses. The city is built on small businesses and really that’s the purpose of our business is to help those businesses be successful and really just raise awareness for how important they are in everybody’s lives.”



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