By Mike Gregory
Bill and Linda Thompson opened a new 800 square-foot store in rural Ladysmith, but it was still barely enough to contain the patrons who shuffled through last week as part of the Cedar Yellow Point Country Christmas Tour.
“It was very busy and a bit overwhelming,” said Bill, who estimated approximately 1000 people visited them between Thursday and Saturday.
“Everyone was happy. It struck me as though there was a positive charge in the air.”
The annual event, which is quickly approaching its 30th in two years, has long given artisans and opportunity to join together to showcase their work.
The Thompsons are makers of custom woodwork and jewerly pieces and became part of the tour four years ago as Yonder Wood.
“We’ve expanded our building, but not only that we’ve expanded the scope of what we’re selling,” said Bill, noting that the success is in large part due to the artisan tour.
Overall, there were 18 stops on the self-guided tour which travelled around Yellow Point Road.
Many locations were busy throughout the day with bus tours, which had travelled as far away as the mainland.
Artisans were selling handmade items ranging from knitted hats, to jewerly and even Christmas wreaths.
People could also get up and close and personal with alpacas, or enjoy cranberry samplings.
Cedar Yellow Point Artisan Association spokesperson Kathy Holmes said this year’s tour was the best year yet.
“It’s a tour that we promote as take a drive in the country and get off the beaten path,” she said.
“Some places were so packed you couldn’t even get in.”
Holmes said she think it’s an attraction because of the diversity of the tour.
“You can always count on the quality,” she said. “I think it was a success again.”