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Start holiday shopping early at Marketplace
Preview party set for Nov. 3 at Civic Center
Mike Scott of Mills Floral Company of Duluth sets up a booth in side the Gainesville Civic Center during last year's annual Northeast Georgia Medical Center Auxillary's Marketplace.


What: Northeast Georgia Medical Center Auxiliary fundraiser

When: 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Friday; 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday

Where: Gainesville Civic Center, 830 Green St.

How much: $5 per person; free for ages 12 and under

Preview party

When: 6:30-9:30 p.m. Nov. 3

Where: Gainesville Civic Center

How much: $40 per person

Contact: 770-219-1830

'Tis the season to get an early start on your holiday shopping.

The Northeast Georgia Medical Center Auxiliary is providing the opportunity to do just that with the annual Marketplace at the Gainesville Civic Center, 830 Green St.

Marketplace will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Friday and from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $5 per person, children ages 12 and under admitted for free.

The shopping event will feature more than 70 different merchants from across the U.S. With vendors offering items like home accessories, clothing for the entire family and gourmet food, shoppers will have the opportunity to buy gifts for everyone on their lists.

There will be inexpensive finds for budget-conscious shoppers, as well as more extravagant goods.

If you'd like to get first dibs on the items for sale, a preview party is scheduled for 6:30-9:30 tonight. Tickets are $40 per person. Preview participants can use their tickets for return admission to Marketplace on another day.

The preview party features heavy hors d'oeuvres, auctions and the chance to shop early.

Some of the auction items include a one-night stay at the Four Seasons Hotel in Atlanta with a $500 shopping spree; an American Girl doll with accessories; and a five-night stay for six at a condo on St. Simons Island.

Should you need a refresher during your shopping excursion, organizers have set up Marketplace tea carts with soup, salad and desserts on the Green Street porch of the civic center and in the Chestatee Room.

From 2-4 p.m. Friday, the Gainesville Ballet "Nutcracker" cast will appear in full dress to mix and mingle with shoppers.

Organizers have also provided for complimentary valet parking and a shuttle from the parking lot to the building.

The chairwomen for the 20th annual Marketplace are Lee Anne Coyle, Beverly Filson and Meg Nivens, who lead a planning committee of 30 volunteers.

Marketplace is the auxiliary's annual fundraiser, which benefits different health care services at the medical center. All of the proceeds from this year's event will benefit the hospital's cancer center.

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