DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - The Chi Omega Christmas Market has returned to Fair Park, launching for many, the unofficial start of the holiday season.
An estimated 11,000 visitors are expected to browse and buy, all for a very good cause.
During its 42 year history, the market has poured millions into local charities.
And it's just fun.
"It's a tradition for a lot of families," says market co-chair Lynne Seago. "Moms and daughters or girls groups get together. Bring your list and you are going to have everybody crossed off your list by the time you leave."
She added with a laugh an especially cool perk of the Wednesday night preview party, "Dance your way through because we're going to have live music," said Seago.
Seago says online shopping trends don't appear to have dampened the market's popularity as both visitors and vendors revel in the experience.
"I love it. I truly do love it.. It's a lot of fun," says Jennifer Martini, owner of She Martini stores.
Martini has small shops across North Texas and two located out of state. But, she says the opportunity to snag a booth at the Chi Omega Market is huge.
Typically there's a wait list to get in and all vendors are juried.
"Oh, it's fantastic. It is fantastic. Because then they ask you: do you have a storefront? Where else can I find you? Are you online? Are you on Instagram, FB twitter? Where can I connect with you?"
Fellow vendor Paige Murray agrees, saying online sales are convenient, but when you're selling "cozy," sales skyrocket when customers can touch it.
"We have a mirror and we allow them to try anything on and they're with their girlfriends and it's just fun," says Murray while showing off a plush scarf that also has pockets to hold cell phones and other essentials. "We'll probably sell 400-500 of these scarves this market. Last year they were our best seller."
Even as every vendor works to sell the sweetness of the season.
"It's just a big party where you get to shop," adds Seago with a laugh. "What's better than that?"
The event runs through Saturday afternoon.
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