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Christmas markets abuzz as Ottawa gets in the festive spirit

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The holiday season is in full swing in the nation's capital with Christmas just over two weeks away.

The festivities include a number of events throughout the city, including the Christmas Market at Lansdowne Park.

Ottawa residents gathered at the market on Saturday to enjoy festive drinks and food with loved ones.

"I'm ready for the holidays," said Della Faulkner, who was at the market on Saturday. "I'm just enjoying the two weeks left until the holidays."

For many it's also a chance to reflect on what's most important this season.

"Spending time with my family is what I'm looking forward to," said Jocelyn Menard, an Ottawa resident.

Menard's family was at the market getting a photo with the big man in red himself.

For Conor Oakley and his family, it's their second visit in a year to the market. Last year, his partner was pregnant with their son, who is now eight months old.

"We were here last year while he was in the belly and now we are back again and he's eight months so he's having a good time," said Oakley. "He's enjoying all the sounds and the lights and he's had a couple samples of the maple syrup."

Jennifer Rickman had a booth at the market for her small business, Sincere Preserves.

"I have four kids so it's a lot during the holidays, but everybody's shopping and everybody's supporting local, which is fantastic," said Rickman.

Many also getting their holiday shopping in during the event.

"I went out shopping yesterday and the day before a little bit and now we are here doing some other things," said Sean Harris, who was visiting the market with his girlfriend.

Harris said they came to the market with one specific purchase in mind.

"My girlfriend's mom wanted Christmas cookies, so that's kind of the main reason why we are here and she's 91 so she deserves Christmas cookies," he said.

Meanwhile, at Ottawa City Hall, the mayor presented the 21st annual Christmas Celebration with musical guests taking to the stage.

"It's so great to be in the festive spirit and to see so many people here with their families with their kids, celebrating the season," said Mark Sutcliffe, Ottawa's mayor.

The Rink of Dreams at city hall was filled with skaters and families also enjoyed horse-drawn wagon rides as part of the event.

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