Christmas Market in Ford City While Bavarian Club Celebrates 18 Years

(Vendor Alana Travis of That’s SEW Plush holding one of her hand crafted pillows during The Ford City Christmas Market on the 1000 block of Drouillard Road in Windsor, Ontario, on Saturday, November 23, 2019. Photo above by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.)

Saturday night (Nov. 23) brought a real flourish of activity along Drouillard Road, site of the city’s famed Ford City. First, the area basked in the joy of Christmas to come with the inaugural Ford City Christmas Market on the Road’s 1000 block of retail stores and services.

Some twenty vendors, including Alana Travis and Stephanie Dixon, offered their handcrafted novelties and gifts from two storefronts.

In the first store, Travis’ company, That’s Sew Plush, showcased a range of decorative and novelty pillows in a wide range of sizes. Travis, who says she always has a person in mind when she puts a pillow together, began sewing Barbie clothes when she was young. One day she was challenged by a friend to make a pillow replicating a taco.

And that’s when it all started. Since then she has made pillows that look like watermelons, pumpkins, toast, and other edibles. Many of them were on display along with more traditional throw ones. The work, she says, is therapeutic.

Across the street in the front section of Michael Difazio Reclaim Artistry, Dixon was going through flowers like there’s no tomorrow. Her company, Third Bloom, sells both pre-arranged flower bouquets and what might best be called flower bouquet kits. She puts all of the ingredients together and her customers do the rest. The kits were quite the hot seller during the two-day event. The name of her company is also significant. This, she says, is her third career.

Stephanie Dixon of Third Bloom at the Ford City Christmas Market

Vendor Stephanie Dixon of Third Bloom holding one of her floral arrangements during The Ford City Christmas Market on the 1000 block of Drouillard Road in Windsor, Ontario, on Saturday, November 23, 2019. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

While it is Dixon’s third, the market is Ford City’s first. Organizer Melanie Chaisson tells Eyes on Windsor that given its success it is most likely it won’t be the last. She envisions an even larger one next year.

Ford City itself continues on a path of becoming the city’s newest hip retail area with new merchants and restaurateurs setting up shop including the Grand Cantina, a place with a growing reputation for its cozy atmosphere and churros, served with a dulce de leche.

The Grand Cantina Restaurant in Ford City

People dining at The Grand Cantina Restaurant on Drouillard Road in Windsor, Ontario, during the Ford City Christmas Market on Saturday, November 23, 2019. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

A bit further south down the street, the Bavarian Club of Windsor hosted its 18th anniversary celebration at the Heimat Windsor Banquet Centre. The night of lively entertainment included dance performances by dancers in traditional Bavarian attire with music supplied by Detroit’s eight-piece brass band Siasswasser Tanzlmusi. The band plans to release its second album early next year.

Siasswasser Tanzlmusi at the Heimat Banquet Centre

Members of Detroit’s eight-piece brass band Siasswasser Tanzlmusi preparing to perform during the Bavarian Club of Windsor’s 18th anniversary celebration at the Heimat Windsor Banquet Centre on Saturday, November 23, 2019. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

Musicians at the Heimat Windsor Banquet Centre

Musicians Kim (left) and Dave just before performing at the Bavarian Club of Windsor’s 18th anniversary celebration at the Heimat Windsor Banquet Centre on Saturday, November 23, 2019. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

With its many events, President Ryan Stiller tells Eyes on Windsor, the Club allows local residents of Germanic ancestry to cherish the traditions of the Chiemgau region in Germany’s Bavaria State.

Next weekend the Club will hold their annual Christkindl Markt, a traditional German Christmas Market with Bavarian attractions including cinnamon glazed almonds and Gluhwein along with hot chocolate, music and vendors selling crafts. It will all take place at the Heimat Windsor Banquet Centre, 1367 Drouillard Road.

After that the Club will start preparing for its next big event, its time-honoured April Beer Festival, the first of the new year.

Tracey Stiller and Debbie Woytta at the Heimat Banquet Centre

Tracey Stiller (left) and Debbie Woytta preparing food during the Bavarian Club of Windsor’s 18th anniversary celebration at the Heimat Windsor Banquet Centre on Saturday, November 23, 2019. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

Robert Tuomi

Article by Robert Tuomi

For over a decade, Robert has covered local news and community events. Initially as a contributor to CBC Radio’s local morning show and then as the long-time producer and host of CJAM’s The Rest of the News and as a journalist at the Windsor Square. A graduate of the Nikon School of Photography he enjoys illustrating his reports with what he sees through his camera’s lens.