On The Brown Low: Marché de Noël

Welcome to On the Brown Low—a column dedicated to exploring all that the lovely city of Providence has to offer. Join me, Isabela Karibjanian, as I take you on a tour of all the hidden gems I find off College Hill!

One of the most common ways to find things to do on or off campus is by finding and sharing Facebook events. Typically, people respond that they’re “interested” in far more events than they could ever hope of attending, but when you decide to take a chance and follow through with your “interested” response on a random Providence event, you can often find yourself pleasantly surprised. Read more after the jump to find out how I was transported to a magical European Christmas market…right here in Providence!

One of my favorite things to do in Providence is to roam various markets, whether they’re Providence Flea events, the Thayer Street Art Festival, or vintage markets that pop up downtown. Seeing as Providence is billed as “The Creative Capital” (or at least that’s what it says on some of the snapchat filters), there are always unique artisanal goods, from handmade jewelry to sculptures, clothing and more. The French-American School’s Marché de Noël was no exception.


Providence often has festivals, art fairs, and markets that pop up during the months of spring and early fall, so to see a winter outdoor market advertised was very exciting. To experience a magical winter market modeled after those found in France around the holidays tucked away between an old stone church and a neighborhood school was even better. Tents selling hand-knitted stuffed animals, jewelry made from old Providence bus tokens, geode necklaces, and ornaments lined the alley. French Christmas carols played softly in the background, and Père Noël himself walked around to take pictures with kids. Christmas trees from a local farm rested against the stone walls of the church, adding to the festive atmosphere. Young kids ran around the market speaking French with accents better than I could ever hope for, and I truly felt as if I had been transported to France.


The market also had a number of food trucks and stands. Local favorite O’Crepe served up hot, fresh crêpes and Friskie Fries, another local food truck, served up gourmet fry creations and poutine. Kettle corn, fresh cider, and pumpkin donuts brought some American flair to the market, and everything was thoroughly delicious.

The only thing missing from the market was a light dusting of snow.

Is there something in Providence that you want to see covered here? Have any suggestions for my next adventure? Send me an email (isabela_karibjanian@brown.edu) to let me know!



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