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For the first time, a winter holiday market has been added to the festivities surrounding the annual “A Christmas Story” Comes Home festivities.

The pop-up market, which will feature artisan vendors from around the Region, will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 3, in the parking lot of the Indiana Welcome Center. The event will run in conjunction with the annual “A Major Event,” which will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the welcome center.

In past years, more than 3,000 people have attended the kickoff weekend.

“We wanted to keep things fresh and exciting and new,” says Erika Dahl, director of communications for the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority. “A Major Event has been going on since the inception of this exhibit, so we thought we would expand this year with a holiday market.”

The cozy outdoor market will take place in the parking lot of the welcome center. There will be more than a dozen vendors, selling items from marshmallows and hot chocolate to handmade soap, Dahl says.

“This will give the adults something new to do, as well as the kids,” she says. “There will be numerous vendors with handcrafted goods, as well as specialty items you can’t find in a big-box store. After families have their photos taken with Santa and enjoy the activities and the six animatronic scenes, they can come outside and get a little holiday shopping done.”

A Major Event will also include train rides for kids, activities and crafts, and photos with Santa from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Families can also grab a seat in the Theatre at 2 p.m. or 4 p.m. to watch the movie “A Christmas Story.”

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