'Charlie' Christmas trees popular at Eastern Market
Detroit — Holiday shoppers on the hunt for the perfect gift or home decoration packed Eastern Market's first Sunday sales of the season this weekend.
Inside the market's sheds were filled with a variety of vendors and the sounds of Christmas tunes. Outside, the parking lots were teeming with rows of Fraser Firs and the hum of chain saws.
Mary Beth Frank may have already had three artificial trees at home in White Lake but she said she couldn't leave Eastern Market on Sunday without a real version, albeit a bit smaller.
"It's worth it," said Frank, as she held up a $10, three-foot miniature tree nicknamed the "Charlie" . "It's so cute."
The small creation, stuck into a wood base and named for Charlie Brown's height-challenged version, was headed for her tabletop centerpiece, she said.
"It's going to get stolen into a kid's bedroom," said her friend, Denise Lynch of Highland, who got her own.
Julie Hill, 59, of Port Huron, was also looking for a tree on the skinnier side, but opted for a more traditional 8-footer for $90.
"So I don't have to move a lot of furniture," Hill said.
Christmas tree vendor Bernie Roznowski and his son Butch said the small "Charlies" are popular but they also had a 14-foot Blue Spruce looking for a home.
The family has been selling trees at Eastern Market for 40 years, currently getting them from a farm in Cheboygan. They sold 900 last year.
Lonni Thomas, the market manager, said the crowds were steady Sunday, with many patrons showing up an hour before the market opened at 10 a.m.
The Sunday Holiday Markets will be run every week from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Sunday, Dec. 23, in addition to the regular Saturday market that is open all year. Most vendors are from Detroit, Thomas said, offering a mix of clothing, art, jewelry, beauty products and food in sheds 3, 4 and 5.