The Dickens Fair – A James Bay Tradition

The Dickens Fair – A James Bay Tradition

By Kate King
Photos by Kate King

On December 1 from 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., the James Bay Market Society will present the 38th Annual Dickens Fair at the James Bay Community Centre, 140 Oswego Street. Admission is $2, children under 12 free. The fair will feature two large rooms with over 70 of the Island’s most talented artisans, a hot food café, children’s activities and free door prizes draws.

Since the 1970s the Dickens Fair has brought you a holiday shopping experience showcasing a diverse group of vendors and a wide array of quality products. The variety of new products, the quality of workmanship, and the care that goes into their creations are sure to impress the most discerning of shoppers.

The Bent Mast Restaurant, a James Bay favorite, is returning to the Dickens Café. Along with delicious breakfast snacks and lunch items, including vegetarian options, warm and cold beverages will be served all day. Take advantage of their Chili-To-Go for your fast evening snack before the Truck Parade!

A great holiday meal starts at the Dickens


Create a delicious holiday meal with farm-fresh organic beef from Boughneath Farms. To accompany your favorite dishes, appetizers and compliments have never been easier: we will have flavorful smoked cheese, beef jerky, fresh made perogies, honey, pickles, infused vinegars, chutneys and hot sauces.

Save room for dessert! Julie’s Delights will have a wonderful variety of traditional chocolate from box sets to hot chocolate to fondue. We also have delightful vegan chocolate treats from Uncouth Chocolate. That’s not all: we have shortbread, gingerbread and traditional Christmas cookies, peanut brittle, fudge, specialty candies, fresh baked pies, and gluten free and vegan baking too!

If it is spirits you are looking for, you can pair your meal with the perfect bottle of wine from Devine Wine and Spirits or enjoy Sheringham Distillery’s Seaside Gin, Dark Chocolate Vodka or Akvavit. For a great gift idea, pick up Sheringham’s Christmas Tri-pack.

This is what else you can expect to find among our many treasures:

Warm and cozy knitwear for the whole family by Bo’s Beautiful Creations and Sombrero’s Designs. Festive hats and scarves will top-off your holiday fashion ensemble coupled with colorful and trendy purses and wallets made from cork from Troll Brothers Quilt Designs.

For the wee ones, Auntie Tai’s has a great selection of children’s clothing including leggings, rompers, swaddles and sleepers. Many of our vendors feature children’s gifts and toys.

A rainbow of tie-dye clothing for adults, teens and tots. Incredible hand-sewn cloth and felted dolls, adorable figurines, felted children’s books, hand-sewn tea cozies and more.

Gifts for the family pet from bedding, sweaters, toys and even delicious treats!

Intricately designed jewelry from earrings to pendants, award-winning body care products for both men and women.

Hand-blown glassworks and handcrafted ceramics, brilliant holiday ornaments, candleholders, functional serving plates and cheese molds.

Attractive art prints and calendars, greeting cards, window décor and magnets, hand-carved cheese trays, cutting boards, wooden table centerpieces, personal altars and even handcrafted musical flutes!

Delicious foods including jams, relishes, specialty candies and fudge.

Bring the whole family! The children’s area is coordinated by the James Bay Community School PAC. One-of-a-kind treasure can be created on site as well as a cookie decorating station. Marilyn the “Chicken Lady” will be introducing us to her incredible feathered friends, and Paula Jans, our talented face painter, will be on hand to add to the children’s enjoyment. A special thank-you to Mark Imhoff, our local realtor, for donating the funds to bring both the Chicken lady and the face painter. We appreciate his support!

The PAC will also have a booth in the fair and all proceeds from their booth and the children’s area will go towards school activities.

There will be free door prizes, and an ATM on site for your shopping convenience. The Dickens Fair is a wonderful way to spend the day with family and friends. Come on out and make the 38th Annual Dickens Fair your family holiday tradition.

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