FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) — One of the biggest annual events in downtown Florence made its return on Sunday to the city’s Farmers Market.

Many people gathered at the City Center Gift Market for a day of shopping with local businesses for crafts, gifts and live entertainment.

Children had the opportunity to meet Santa, enjoy a cup of hot chocolate, decorate the market tree and roast marshmallows by a fire.

“We’re excited. We have roasted marshmallows for the kids, free hot chocolate, Santa will be here from 4 to 6 and we’re really excited for everyone to come out,” said Amanda Pope, the marketing and communications director for the City of Florence. 

Local vendors were excited to share their crafts with the community in preparation for the Christmas holiday.

“People buy and stay local, it’s so huge for us. Because they’re actually investing in us, they’re investing their abundance, they believe in us and the things we create,” said Melissa Morales, the creator of Stellar Gemz. 

Small Business Saturday helped highlight several local businesses in the Pee Dee.

Florence Downtown said when you spend $100 at a locally-owned small business, $68 stays in the local economy.

“But it gives people a place to be, its a welcoming environment for families and just a place to come out and shop and support local farmers, producers, artisans, every Saturday,” Pope said. 

The City Center Farmers Market is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday.