CHARLOTTE – Holiday festivities are in full swing at this year’s Southern Christmas Show, running until Nov. 24.
Hundreds of guests browsed through pop-up stores for ornaments, sweaters, food and wine on the first day of what organizers bill as the largest North American Christmas show.
Show manager Jennifer Smetana said over the years, the show has differentiated itself from other Christmas shows in North America.
“We bring the magic of Christmas to life for guests with a unique entrance, a Christkindl market, an entire building of hand-crafted products and over 450 exhibitors,” Smetana wrote in an email. “Guests travel into Charlotte from every state in the United States as well as Canada.”
Guests said walking around the show and seeing the decorations put them into the holiday spirit.
“It’s so festive,” Kelly Boone said. “It puts you in the mood for Christmas. I love looking at all of the Christmas styles here. We’re switching up our Christmas decorations, so it’s always good to see what’s trendy and new this year.”
Decorations and gifts from scented wreaths to Christmas paintings were on display throughout the event. Many of the products were unique and handmade.
Jana Gantt was one of the artists selling her products at the show. Gantt owns Copper Creek Designs, where she makes jewelry and other art from copper. She uses upcycled copper from gutters and trash cans, as well as etched copper, which she personally etches.
“You will never find what I make in a normal store,” Gantt said. “It’s all handmade. You can hardly find it online.”
She has attended the show as a vendor for four years. Gantt said she enjoys the festive vibe inside of the event and likes that it lasts longer than one day, unlike some of the other shows she has been to.
Smetana said the team behind the Southern Christmas Show works year-round to ensure diversity in the exhibitors.
Part of bringing the event to life includes the theme. This year’s theme is “Woodland Christmas,” complete with a life-size log cabin at the entrance and forest-inspired decorations throughout the space. Smetana said her team has spent the past year planning out the features of the show so that visitors can enjoy them.
Smetana said the theme also provides a photo opportunity for visitors.
“The neat thing about the entrance each year is that it becomes the backdrop to many families’ annual Christmas cards, so the entire family comes to the show and takes their family photos together,” Smetana wrote.
Want to go?
Buy tickets at www.south ernchristmasshow.com.