Madisonville’s Gingerbread Market, hosted by Sweet Pickin’s Market, Madisonville Department of Marketing and Tourism and the Madison County Chamber of Commerce, was held Friday and Saturday at the Sidewalk Cattleman's Association Pavilion and was followed by the annual Christmas parade on Saturday evening.
“The turnout was a little less than we had hoped for, but good for the market’s first year,” said Tammy Farkas, who owns the Sweet Pickin’s Market with her sister Jana Vise. “We brought in several hundred shoppers from around the area. Restaurants and hotel were packed and lots of people stayed for the parade. We had a lot of people thank us for bringing it to the area.”
Plans are already in the works to bring back the market for the second time in 2019.
There were many local vendors from Madison County, but some also came from as far as Nacogdoches and Houston. A number of local sponsors assisted as well including MARI, Brookshire Brothers, Monterey Mushrooms, Madison County Chamber of Commerce, the City of Madisonville and the Madisonville Meteor.
The event was followed by the illuminating Christmas parade that began at Lake Madison Park and made its way all the way through the square. It encompassed many businesses, government organizations, school groups and sports groups.
The top floats that were awarded for their display in the parade were Carpe Diem Dance Studio (First Place), Madisonville Little League (Second Place) and Crossroads Cowboy Church (Third Place).
The parade’s Grand Marshall was 14-year old Faith Farris, a Midway resident and decorated rodeo competitor. Farris was the National Youth Cutting Horse Association year-end reserve world champion in 2017 and she surpassed that effort this year by earning the NYCHA year-end world champion title.
Farris is a back-to-back winner of the American Quarter Horse Youth Association World Title. She is currently a freshman in high school and has aspirations to study cosmetology and become a makeup artist.
Following the conclusion of the parade, about 165 people attended the Kimbro Center to enjoy cookies and punch and take pictures with Santa.