Basilica Hudson launching virtual Farm and Flea

In this 2018 file photo, shoppers browse through Basilica Hudson during the Farm and Flea Spring Market. File photo

HUDSON — Basilica Hudson announced the launch of its annual Farm and Flea Holiday Market, which will be virtual this year.

This year’s market will include more than 70 Hudson Valley-based businesses selling goods and services online.

“This pandemic is hitting hard on our cultural and social livelihoods, so sticking together locally and putting our creative minds together is how we will get through this challenging time,” Melissa Auf der Maur, Basilica Hudson co-founder and director, said in a statement.

“The silver lining has made itself clear to all engaged and living in our dynamic region, and we feel so fortunate to be a part of that,” she said.

The Farm and Flea Holiday Market has been an annual event for the past eight years. Due to COVID-19 concerns, holding the traditional in-person event was not possible, so it is online and virtual this year.

Auf der Maur said the annual sale began as an antidote to the traditional Black Friday sales at box stores and large regional malls. This year’s virtual market is a similar response to online sales for large companies like Amazon.

The virtual Farm and Flea Holiday Market can be found at https://basilicahudson.org/farmandflea.

Shoppers can peruse dozens of local and regional vendors offering a variety of handmade items, crafts, unique food options and more. The vendors include a variety of farmers, artisans, local chefs, vintage collectors and more.

The Hudson Tourism Board awarded Basilica Farm and Flea a $5,000 grant in September. The money helped create the website linking various seller sites and for educational workshops and promotion of local businesses.

The workshops covered a number of online business topics such as product selection, organization, choices in various e-comm websites and platforms, and how to spread the word about the business and product. The workshops were used to help businesses move to, and learn about, selling in an online market.

The 2020 education workshops and promotion were offered free of charge for past Basilica Farm and Flea Holiday Market vendors and any Hudson-based businesses, as well as any partnering organizations hoping to move their products online.

This year Basilica Hudson partnered with LikeMindedObjects in Hudson to host the market. Elise McMahon of LikeMindedObjects and photographer Angelina Dreem teamed up for a product and portrait photography shoot offered free of charge to businesses.

“Missing out on a celebratory in-person 10-year anniversary season has been heartbreaking for Basilica, but it has also been a call to action and transformation. Being a platform for independent voices while fostering sustainable community and economy is central to our mission,” Auf der Maur said.

Basilica Farm and Flea holds two markets each year, in the spring on Mother’s Day weekend and a holiday market after Thanksgiving.

In previous years, the markets have played host to more than 12,000 shoppers, according to documents from Basilica Hudson. The markets have featured more than 300 different businesses.

Typically, there is an admission fee for the event, but this year’s virtual market does not have one.

Basilica Hudson is also running a promotional campaign on social media to highlight participating vendors and will also conduct Instagram Live interviews with a diverse range of business owners.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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