Only slightly removed from Downtown Carlisle, Christkindlesmarkt and the Market of Curiosities offer additional opportunities for shoppers to kick off the season.

Christkindlesmarkt will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center. There’s no charge for admission, and the event offers holiday entertainment, food and more than 50 vendors.

Also on Dec. 2, the Market of Curiosities will be setting up shop from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Carlisle Expo Center if shopping with a dash of the circus and punk rock sounds intriguing. There is an admission fee of $3.

Sarah Taby, owner of Miss Ruth’s Time Bomb, hosts the event, which this year includes two performances by Circus Stella. The duo not only performs circus-style aerial and balance acts, but also features trained performing rescue dogs.

Circus Stella will perform at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Taby recommends arriving an hour ahead of the performances to ensure enough time to find parking, go through the entry line and take in the surroundings before finding a place near the stage.

The market will also host an open mic for kids, and Punk Rock Santa will visit.

Then, there’s the vendors.

“Some things are cute. Some things are curious, and some things are — I don’t even know what to say about that,” Taby said.

Preparation for the market begins in July when vendor applications are accepted. A jury pores through the applications to decide which ones best fit the market and have works available that are reasonably priced.

As a result, the Market of Curiosities features such oddities as Uniquely Morbid’s tiny dragons made from bones found in owl droppings, or Dark Rain Design’s animatronic robots made from old toys.

The market will also feature Copious Glass, marble art that last year attracted visitors to the show from as far away as New York.

Food vendors include Seve-N-Dots, John Kelley’s Seafood Connection and Falafel Shack. Beer and hard cider will also be available for sampling and for sales from local breweries.

The concept behind the market came from Taby’s years of accompanying her mother as she vended at tattoo conventions, and her own experience vending at shows such as the Viva Las Vegas rockabilly show. Taby thought Carlisle is a “cool place” that could host a curated show of interesting vendors rather than offering an open call for vendors.

“You don’t need to go to Brooklyn to find something cool,” she said.

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