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International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

It’s Time for the Annual Downtown Holiday Market

Shops at the Downtown Holiday Market. Although each stand sells distinct products, the market brings small businesses together with the holiday spirit. (Selena Said/International Dateline)

Once the leaves are gone and the nights get longer, it is time for the annual Downtown Holiday Market to return. Every year, Penn Quarter hosts a festive gathering with music, decorations, and small businesses marketing their goods, taking place this year from Nov. 17 to Dec. 23. 

“The folks look forward to this year-round,” manager of the Downtown Holiday Market Michael Berman said. “It’s a family event. People are here for the experience, for the music, for the decorations.”

For 19 years, this market has been around managing to attract both returning and new visitors. They show support to small local businesses or artists representing several countries with their work. At the same time, many enjoy it.

One of the stands is filled with colorful and intricate native Inca handiwork by Native Inca Art Creations, such as sweaters, blankets and hats. According to Lisa Ren, who works at the stand, the owner Oswaldo Sinchico is from Ecuador and all the creations are handmade from alpaca fur and cotton. 

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Oswaldo Sinchico, owner of Native Inca Art Creations, next to a handmade poncho. The detailed design of the poncho is one of the many styles and patterns on display. (Selena Said/International Dateline)

The good quality and the variety of products suitable for any age attract a lot of customers to the stand, which makes Ren enjoy her experience each year. She appreciates the holiday market’s diversity and the customers buying and cherishing the products Sinchico makes. 

Right next door, Chris Matias sells different forms of Nicaraguan handmade art, mostly pottery. Matias works directly with the artists to help influence the art and then acquire it to sell. 

“I work in a village that has a long tradition of making pottery that goes back centuries,” Matias said. “So there’s lots of established tradition and inspiration there. And then I’ll introduce a few of my own ideas that will assimilate them together, and sometimes we come up with new works.”

He finds the holiday market very beneficial to the business, as the large crowds lead to many sales. Additionally, the market’s visitors are exposed to the culture this business and several others carry, according to Berman. 

Many other businesses at the market showcase diverse cultural and traditional works, bringing the Downtown Holiday Market to life. Families and groups come together to partake in the fun holiday ambiance in the heart of D.C. Whether it is the background holiday music or the variety of products, such as candles, food, art and jewelry, anyone and everyone who attends is filled with joy.

By Selena Said

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Selena Said
Selena Said, WIS News Editor
Hi, I’m Selena! I am currently a sophomore and this year, I am a WIS News Editor. This is now my second year being a part of Dateline and I was previously an Arts Editor. I like to cover news and fun stories that have a connection to the WIS community. Outside of Dateline, I like playing tennis and reading. 

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