Peddler’s Village prepares for holiday season

Peddler’s Village is getting ready for a predicted increase in attendees. With the number of employees lower than usual, the village is working to fill positions.


Arrowhead photo by Helen Spiegel

Happy for the holidays…Enjoying a hot chocolate, sophomore Nick Diamond observes Peddler’s Village holiday lights. On the first night of their “Merchants Open House,” the village turns on their outside holiday lights.

As going out becomes safer since COVID-19, people are feeling more comfortable returning to their favorite holiday traditions.
Peddler’s Village is arranging for a busy holiday season and the return of more customers.
Many families have memories and traditions associated with the 59-year-old outdoor shopping village.
JaZams owner Dean Smith said that he has memories of attending Peddler’s Village with his grandparents when he was younger.
“I mean it’s still a really special place to come and visit,” Smith said. “People come from all over because the grounds are so beautiful.”
Many workers at Peddler’s Village are excited to see the outdoor shopping mall running after the pandemic.
Mama Hawk’s Kitchen & Coffee shift lead Megan Koncurad is excited to see how the business will react to the large number of people.
Mama Hawk’s is a new business to Peddlers Village, having opened during COVID-19.
“We pretty much have no idea what business is going to be like going forward because all the numbers that we have are Covid numbers,” Koncurad said.
During December of 2020, Mama Hawk’s Kitchen, like many restaurants and cafes, did not have indoor dining.
This year poses a different challenge, with expected business being difficult to predict.
“It was a lot harder to prepare for certain things since we don’t really know what things are going to be like yet,” Kocuard said.
Peddler’s Village is known for its Grand Illumination, during which they turn on all the holiday lights for the first time that year.
This year they will not be having one.
According to Director of Festivals and Events Joe Albert, they do not have enough employees to hold the event. Albert said they are simply “short staffed.”
Peddler’s Village is still trying to make this year’s events as vibrant as before.
Albert says employees have been working since August to decorate the location.
“We have very large trees. They get done in the month of August and into September,” Albert said. “[Right now,] employees are doing the bottom parts of the trees.That’s the part that you will see.”
As early as November, many parts of Peddler’s Village have decorations up.
“There’s red ribbons and bows already starting to go up and garland,” Albert said.
Sophomore Nick Diamond is very excited for the holidays and even simple, merry events such as walking through Peddler’s Village. “I’m excited to see all the lights and decorations,” Diamond said.
Many stores are working on not allowing staffing shortages to take away from the season.
Clusters Popcorn employee Anna Fitz is excited for the holiday season.
“[It] is when we get the most customers and we get out new flavors,” Fitz said.
Despite staffing issues the village held exciting events such as Kickoff to the Holidays on November 19, The Gingerbread Competition and display November 19-January 8 and Holly Jolly Weekend December 4-5.
The village is working to take precautions during the ongoing pandemic.
In June and July, Peddler’s Village hosted a vaccine clinic in one of their restaurants, The Cock and Bull. According to the village’s website, “Since the onset of the pandemic, Peddler’s Village has followed CDC and state guidelines for all retail and hospitality operations…for their own safety as well as others, individuals who have not yet been vaccinated or are partially vaccinated are still encouraged to wear a mask when in public.”