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Annual holiday market in Williams Lake a decades-long tradition

Medieval Market in Williams Lake is a longstanding traditional beloved by Cariboo locals and vendors

It might be impossible to go to the Medieval Market in Williams Lake and not see someone you know and to leave empty-handed.

Those seem to be two of the rules which repeat themselves each year for this Cariboo local, at least.

The market brings together music, food, local arts and crafts and merriment each year at the Lake City Secondary - Williams Lake campus, taking over much of the school.

Vendors plan for it all year, making their wares and replenishing their stock. Some reportedly book their booth location a year in advance to ensure they can get their preferred spot.

Shoppers plan for it each fall, knowing they can check a number of possible gift purchases off the list with local and unique items.

Each year there is something a little different and each year, some things can be counted on.

One of those things is the Simply DyeVine Fudge, which Willie and Audrey Dye have been selling at the market for around 32 years.

Dye jokingly refers to himself as “a poor but honest fudgemaker” and said he started out in his home kitchen making fudge on the stove as a Christmas thank you gift to clients.

“Until the day he boiled fudge over on the stove,” explained his wife Audrey, laughing as she described his much better set up now with copper kettles and a lift system for the large pots to avoid heavy lifting.

After making it as gifts for clients, he then told Audrey one year he was going to make a little extra and take it to the Medieval Market, which he said she was not exactly keen on initially.

But he said she later directed him he had to dress as something religious “because I’ve got my nun’s outfit” and he figured out she was on board.

They’ve been tending their booth, usually located right inside the main doors, for over three decades.

The couple have won “best booth” twice and Willie is happy to report he has second and third generations of customers returning to the booth now. He had a customer recount to him coming with her mom and buying fudge for the first time when she was 10 years old when she returned with her children in tow.

Simply Dyevine Fudge is just one of the staples many look forward to each year at the market, which is now a fundraiser for students at the high school, as well as an opportunity for students to gain volunteer experience and hours.

The market included live music by around 30 different acts over the course of the weekend and featured over 100 vendors.

Read more: Medieval Market returns to Williams Lake

Read more: OUR HOMETOWN: Weaving through life

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Ruth Lloyd

About the Author: Ruth Lloyd

After moving back to Williams Lake, where I was born and graduated from school, I joined the amazing team at the Williams Lake Tribune in 2021.
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