Little Zurich: An Open-Air Holiday Market in Fort Collins

The Little Zurich is an ethereal open-air holiday market with warm fires roaring and hundreds of twinkling lights adorning the four Swiss wooden vendor huts built by the owner, Todd Simmons, and local legend Phil Benstein, with support from volunteers/regulars of the Wolverine Farm Letterpress & Publick House. Little Zurich is every Thursday-Saturday 4 pm-8 pm and Sundays from 12 pm-4 pm from now through the end of the year.

Little Zurich is inspired by festive European Christmas markets dating back to the middle ages. Wolverine has a specialty menu of holiday delicacies like roasted chestnuts, mulled wine, hot cider, sipping chocolate, and s’mores to melt over their new in-ground-outdoor fire-pit. 

“We wanted to find a safe way to uphold holiday spirit in a time so tumultuous while continuing to support our local creatives and maintain our goals of cultivating community,” says Community Ambassador Chelsea Gilmore. “‘Little Zurich’ runs four days of the week in our outdoor courtyard offering live music, poetry, festive crafts, demos, and a variety of local artisans selling their goods.” 

The Publick House stresses to wear masks and practice safe distancing if attending.

Todd smiling at a job well done. Photo provided by Wolverine Farm.

The Zurich holiday market rotates through their celebrated, committed group of consistent makers, including Melina Be Creations, Thomas Ivory with Hemp, Joseph Miranda Ceramics, Jenna Ball prints, Carrie Frickman of Hartwood Visuals, and Lauren Smith.

One of the vendor booths and market attendees. Photo provided by Wolverine Farm.

The Little Zurich market has handmade items like woven scarves and fiber arts, leather earrings, ceramics, prints, paintings, wooden earrings, hemp-crafted goods, hemp ice cream beadwork, and candle dipping.

Candle Dipping

Candle Dipping station. Photo provided by Wolverine Farm.

 

Candle dipping is a time-honored tradition at the holiday markets across Europe that involves hand dipping a wick into melted beeswax, according to Todd. Slowly dipping the wax repeatedly develops layers of wax around the wick, creating candles. Wolverine is offering a DIY candle dipping station by reservation on their website. Wolverine sells the candles by weight after completion. 

Open air fire pit for s’mores and warming. Photo provided by Wolverine Farm.

Weekly Rotation of Events

Thursday: Live local music 

Friday: Poetry readings and wood-turning demos. 

Saturday: demos, live paintings, or unique visitors, and candle dipping by reservation

Craft Sunday: opportunities to try out new creative activities like making wreaths, buttons, zines, ornaments, and candle dipping by reservation

Every hour of that the Market is open is a happy hour for $1 off pours.

The Little Zurich lit up on a fall evening. Photo provided by Wolverine Farm.

Call for Artist

The 8x8x8 Challenge is an opportunity for budding and practiced painters. Eight eight artists have eight days to paint a standard size sheet of plywood (8’x4′) displayed in Wolverine Farm upstairs gallery space for December and January.

The art may also make its way into a temporary outdoor installation to create a collaborative mural-scape along their fence line. To apply, email three images of past work with a concept to chelsea@wolverinefarm.org by Friday, November 20. Decision announced November 22.

Maker Wall and Bookstore Inside

Inside Wolverine Farm is a new Local Maker Wall that shelves over 30 handmade crafts. Handcrafted & local, prints, cards, zines, chapbooks, jewelry, spoons, masks, and a new bookstore, Perelandra Books, run by their staff, Joe and Indigo. Perelandra bookstore has specially curated books with attention to creative minds, diverse communities, and culturally responsive topics with a myriad of topics and reading levels suited for book lovers of all ages and interests.

“In C. S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy, Perelandra—the planet Venus—is a celestial Eden where the arrival of humankind triggers a crisis of great spiritual and ecological beauty. In naming the new secondhand book collection at Wolverine Farm after this place/story, we wanted to honor the way in which books are acts of both imagination and ecology and the way in which communities need both of these things to heal and grow,” they say. “We hope you will come to visit our new shelves and reading nooks and discover something new in our evolving collection. You can also become a member of Wolverine Farm on Patreon and get a lifetime 10% discount on all the books.”

Join the Community

In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, Wolverine began a Patreon Campaign for their ever-supportive fans of Wolverine Farm. Monthly members receive an exclusive, online magazine “The Imaginable”, hosting writing and art tending toward the literary, astrological, practical, and magical. “This literary treat is available for all members, with new volumes coming out monthly,” says Chelsea. “Our tiered membership options offer monthly mystery mailers, usually prints hot off the press, and exclusive access to new publications as they reach our shelves. Memberships range from $5-$25/month and surely help keep us going! We are very grateful for all of our current and future members.” 

If you are looking to make a year-end donation to a non-profit organization, please consider Wolverine Farm Publishing. Monetary donations are 100% tax-deductible. Send contributions to Wolverine Farm Publishing, 316 Willow Street, Fort Collins, CO, 80524.

“Stay safe out there, and cheers! Even a small donation is greatly appreciated!” says Chelsea. “See you soon—”

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