Dec 1, 2005: New Holiday Market to Open


WASHINGTON, DC (Nov.29)--Final preparations are underway for the opening of the Downtown Holiday Market, the national capitol's first seasonal outdoor festival market, 11 a.m. Thursday, December 1.

"Already a tent city is rising on the site of the old Convention Center at the corner of 11th & H Streets NW and the scent of Christmas trees is wafting through the area," said Michael Berman of Diverse Markets Management LLC (DMM), which is managing the event in partnership with the Downtown DC Business Improvement District (BID).

"It's going to be a feast for the senses," Berman promised. "From the pine scent, to the taste of hot chocolate, to the aroma from a variety of foods from several stands" which will serve both the lunch and dinner hours at the market, to be open from 11-7 Thursdays through Sundays, December 1-18 and continuing Monday through Wednesday, December 19-21.

"Music for the ears and entertainment to jazz up the holiday spirits is scheduled throughout the event from a stage, and dozens of great exhibitors of colorful goods from both DC and around the world will provide plenty to see," he continued.

A grand opening ceremony, which will feature Mayor Anthony Williams, the Dunbar High School band and several other notables and musical acts, has been scheduled by the BID for noon Friday, December 2, Berman announced.

"Expect the new market to reflect the exhibitor diversity of Eastern Market," said Tom Rall, long time manger of The Flea Market at Eastern Market on Sundays and a DMM director. "Several dozen who regularly sell at Eastern Market or who have been on our waiting list are already signed up."

Christmas Tree Gift Certificates: "One of the exciting things about working with the BID and in the Penn Quarter neighborhood," Berman exclaimed, "is the ability to bring in other great businesses to the event." Zipcar, one of the businesses that serve the downtown and other DC area neighborhoods, has planned a special promotion with its members for the new market. On Saturdays they will be offering free delivery of tree purchases to members in one of their vehicles parked adjacent to the Christmas tree area of the new market along the 11th Street corridor.

The firm will also be offering Five-Dollar gift certificates for the purchase of Christmas trees at Downtown Holiday Market through its 13,000 person local mailing list.

"Not to be out done by Zipcar we're also offering a $5 gift certificate to newsletter subscribers on tree purchases at the Downtown Holiday Market," said Rall, who with flea market Assistant Manager William "Rudy" Coates has formed a partnership to run the tree concession. To receive your $5 discount on a Christmas tree purchase just print out this email and bring it with you to the new market.

Long time Eastern Market farmer, Jesse Dunham of Dunham Farms in West Virginia, is supplying the fresh Douglass Fir trees, white pine decorative roping and wreathes to the partnership. Dunham and his family opened their annual Christmas tree stand at Eastern Market last week. Both sites will sell trees seven days a week, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Downtown Holiday Market site and until 9 or 10 each night at Eastern Market.

Other Gift Certificates: One of the major advertising promotions for the new market is a printing of 30,000 colorful postcards, which are also redeemable for a One Dollar discount on a merchandise purchase at the Downtown Holiday Market. Flea Market at Eastern Market exhibitors participating in the new market have been passing them out to their customers the past two Sundays and will have them available every Sunday through December 18. The flea market will be closed on Christmas Day and will reopen New Year’s Day.

BID workers will be passing the postcard certificates out at Metro Center, located just a block away at 11th and G St, and at MCI Center, four blocks away from the Downtown Holiday Market. New Circulator buses, which stop near the Market site, will also have postcards on all their buses. If you can’t get downtown or to Eastern Market on a Sunday, email and we'll send you one to print out.

 More information about Downtown Holiday Market is available at and about The Flea Market at Eastern Market at