BONNERS FERRY — The Boundary County Fairgrounds came alive with the spirit of Christmas past, as the 10th annual Vintage Christmas Market set up their displays, opening the doors to the public this past Friday and Saturday, Nov. 17-18.
This year, they overflowed out of the Valley Event Center, with more vintage Christmas items and food available in the Memorial Hall.
“It’s always good, always good,” said Marianne Duarte. “Today we probably had the maximum that we have ever had here. I think we set a record today.”
The rooms were packed with vintage items, most Christmas themed. They were laid out in meticulous fashion that flowed seamlessly, allowing the large number of attendees to wander through, taking in all the sights, choosing the items that caught their eye.
The layout was completely uncluttered, but guests made more than one round, as there always seemed to be something that was missed the first time. There were items for all ages to enjoy, with adults as wide eyed as the children.
“Everybody looks forward to it,” said Duarte. “We have so many people that come and never miss it.”
Those who chose to come on Saturday were not disappointed as the 15 vendors restocked the items every day.
“It doesn’t matter when you come here because we are putting stuff out all the time,” explained Duarte.
With the Christmas spirit overwhelming the Market, one couple got quite a surprise. Coast Guard Veteran Larry Humberg and his wife Kathy Humberg were at the Market, admiring a sewing machine. They were overcoming a recent loss of their beloved horse, and Larry Humberg had just gotten out of surgery.
A lady noticed them counting their dollars and approached Duarte. She said that she didn’t know if the Humbergs had enough money to purchase the sewing machine and she wanted to purchase it for them, but asked that Duarte didn’t reveal her name.
“It was very touching,” said Duarte. “I waited a little bit then I walked back there and I had a sold sign, and I know him, because he stops at our sales. I said how are you doing and I gave him a hug. I said, it’s like Christmas today.”
Larry Humberg thought she was referring to the hug, and agreed. Then Duarte explained, indicating to the sold sign in her hand and the sewing machine, “Someone paid it forward and bought this for you.”
“I wanted to cry,” said Larry Humberg when he returned the next day to pick up the sewing machine. “I did. It was amazing. It felt like an angel came out and did this. Just amazing. It was the perfect time for something nice to happen.”
“I was in a little pain, a little discomfort and had been through an issue at the house with one of our pets. It was hard to take,” said Larry Humberg, fighting tears.
“It was very special,” said Duarte. “It’s a good spirited act.”
When surrounded by Christmas, especially a vintage Christmas drawing out the memories, the spirit of the holidays shone through.
“We just look forward to next year,” said Duarte. “It is the best sale that we do.”