Richmond Night Market’s holiday villages event shifts to virtual platform

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Richmond Night Market is hosting a virtual shopping experience.

The annual ‘Holiday Villages’ were originally planned as five or six miniature festivals, however, the event will now be done in a two-day virtual format. Organizers said they had to make the change after Virginia Governor Ralph Northam issued new COVID-19 restrictions.

The holiday event will be the product of a partnership with the City of Richmond, Office of Economic Development, Brok Productions and Richmond Magazine.

The night market and Holiday Villages give people the chance to shop local, interact with artists and listen to a band or DJ play.

Richmond Night Market co-founders Adrienne Cole Johnson and Melody Short said the virtual Holiday Villages won’t be like your typical Facebook live.

The organizers have brought in a production company to help with the experience. The event is designed to still create some intimacy in the engagements between business owners and customers. Short says those in attendance should be prepared to shop.

Everything from ceramics to clothing, jewelry and visuals will be available for purchase.

Cole Johnson said customers will be able to learn more about artists from the community. She explains the experience goes beyond what people see when they just go into a shop. “Hopefully it’s a bit of a warm and fuzzy gathering too, as we’re kind of reflecting over 2020 and going into 2021,” Cole Johnson said.

She expects everyone will be able to find something “different and unique that they love and enjoy.”

The virtual village will still feel festival-like, with bands and a DJ performing like at the pre-pandemic night markets.

“We are really boots-on-the-ground to make sure that this experience is one you’ve never experienced here in Richmond,” Short said.

The event will be interactive, with multiple vendor booths to shop from and the co-organizers will be hosting.

Short wants to see people still getting excited about the holidays despite limitations from the pandemic.

“What’s really exciting about us creating the Holiday Villages is the opportunity to help just create some additional energy throughout the city in lieu of COVID-19,” Richmond Night Market co-founder Melody Short said.

She hopes the holiday event will give small business owners and artisans from the Richmond area to generate additional revenue before the year’s end.

“Small business employ us, our neighbors,” Short said. “We want to make sure we are keeping people employed, we’re keeping the vibrancy within the small business community happening.”

To register for the event or for more details, click here.

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