While shoulder season gloom seems to be lingering in the Flathead Valley this year, Christmas bells are already jingling at Snowline Acres. Friday marked the opening of the annual Snowline Christmas Market, a space for visitors to pick out trees, wreaths, and gifts for the holiday season as well as partake in winter-themed workshops.
Snowline has been in business at the Ashley Creek Historic Venue since 1955 and owned by Kristin and Tom Davis for the past eight years. While selling Christmas trees remains a core part of the business, the couple has reimagined the market’s potential to become a community space as much as a retail endeavor.
“We wanted to create a property that could serve as the gateway to Kalispell,” Kristin Davis said. “You feel like you’re living in a Hallmark Christmas movie for a month. It’s such a happy time. Everyone who comes is just in awe of the lights, the trees, the offerings, and the smells. It’s just that nostalgic Christmas feeling that we can bring to the people of the Flathead Valley.”
This year, Snowline will offer wreath making, cookie decorating, and charcuterie board workshops. It will also be putting on Christmas concerts, including a performance from a local fiddler group, as well as inviting local artisans to sell their goods. Kristin said one of the newest additions is the Scandinavian Baking Company.
“They’ll be coming in each Saturday to bake their goods on site here and sell them,” Kristin Davis said. “They really bring the smells of the holiday season to Snowline along with our fresh green smell.”
Snowline sells trees of many varieties and sizes – ranging from three feet to over 25 feet tall. Currently, its largest tree for sale stands at 30 feet. Snowline’s coffee shop also allows patrons to sip and shop simultaneously.
“When you walk in the building, it’s like a true forest of trees,” Tom Davis said. “The trees are hanging from the ceiling; people can spin them around and look at all sides. And kids love going into that building and running around.”
The iconic heart of the Christmas Market is the historic Kalispell Lumber Building. The building used to be located in downtown Kalispell, near the fairground. The Davis couple had it dismantled and relocated it to Snowline Acres to give the market a historical feel as well as expand the activities offered on the property.
“We just knew that putting such a neat historic building right off the highway on the south end of town could serve everyone in the valley,” Kristin Davis said. “We had so much space available that we were able to offer this bigger market and events that go along with Christmas time.”
For the Davis couple, Christmas is a year-round endeavor, as they spend months of the year preparing for the market. However, they said that seeing Snowline transform into a family and community-wide tradition makes it worthwhile.
“I’m just really appreciative and grateful for how many repeat customers we have,” Tom Davis said. “It’s to a point where when we start collecting trees, we start tagging like this is going to be Frank’s tree, this is going to be Joe’s tree. We know that those guests come in year after year and it’s great seeing them and being able to take care of them.”
The Christmas Market is open Tuesday through Sunday until Dec. 3. Those interested in learning more about hours/offerings or renting the space for a private party can visit snowlineacres.com. For information on Snowline’s winter workshops, see its Instagram page at instagram.com/snowlineacres.
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