ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) – Some people may already have their Christmas decorations up, but for many, Black Friday really kicks off the holiday season. That’s when the Ostlund Christmas Tree Farm in Rockingham County will begin to welcome customers back and is ready to bring back a tradition on the farm.
The Heartland Christmas Market was first launched in 2020. It features seven local artists and vendors in a lamb barn, with a German bratwurst food truck and other goodies, but over the years has grown. This weekend, it will feature almost 20 local artists and vendors, along with more food options.
“This year, my husband and I have been working since August on another lamb barn, which we refer to as lamb barn 2. That has 11 additional stalls for more artists, more crafters, a kids make-it-and-take-it activity. Lots to do,” owner Buffy Ostlund said.
There will also be live music and a barrel train for the children to take a ride on the property named the Candy Cane Express.
The market will be open Friday, Nov. 25 through Sunday, Nov. 27. Full-service Christmas tree-cutting kicks off on Friday too. Ostlund encourages customers to come early and with an open mind.
“We’ve had more than 50% demand increase back-to-back the last two years, so we’re getting tight,” she said. “We encourage them to maybe think about a little bit of a shorter tree than they traditionally like because the taller ones are pretty much all gone. We ask them to consider a species they haven’t tried before if they can’t find something they normally get.”
Due to high demand last year, some trees that didn’t quite reach maturity yet went home with families.
“There is a tendency with Christmas tree farmers to shut the farm down to avoid letting the smaller ones go. We did not do that last year,” Ostlund said. “We are going to do that this year as far as our full-service operation, but if someone wants to come in and self-service, we’re not going to tell them no.”
Ostlund said you should try to get your hands on a tree this weekend or the first weekend in December.
The Christmas Market and full-service tree cutting will happen: Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
To get a look at which vendors are participating, check out the Ostlund Christmas Tree Farm Facebook page.
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