Ghostly cackles and “trick-or-treat” may be the typical sounds of October, but rather sleigh bells were ringing in Fort Worth last weekend with Christmas in Cowtown.

More than 140 vendors from across the nation set up booths in the Will Rogers Memorial Center for the holiday gift market presented by the Junior League of Fort Worth. Selling everything from toffee to wrapping paper and clothing, it was all in the spirit of Christmas giving.

Kathleen Bundy, Christmas in Cowtown Co-Chair, said the gift market raises funds to benefit a number of projects throughout the city.

“The Junior League is an organization of about 2,000 women, and we provide volunteers and funds for the Fort Worth community,” Bundy said. “It’s mainly for the improvement of women and children, but there are several projects throughout the city.”

Alliance for Children, Opening Doors for Women in Need and KinderFrogs School at TCU are just a few of those projects supported by the organization.  

“The Junior League provides about $250,000 per year of funding to our projects,” Bundy said, “and Christmas in Cowtown raises about 80 percent of that.”

Katie Copeland, a worker at Christmas in Cowtown, said the best thing about the event is knowing it is giving back to the community.

“All the money we’re bringing in is going right back to the community charities,” Copeland said. “It’s neat that you can shop with a purpose and feel good about what you’re getting.”

Not only was Copeland a volunteer at the event, but she said she planned to be a shopper as well.

“I got here early just so I could walk around everything and soak it all in,” Copeland said, “and as soon as it’s over, I’m going to walk back around again, because I can’t get the thought of that toffee out of my head.”

More than 10,000 shoppers were expected for the holiday market. So after a year of planning, Bundy said her favorite memory was seeing that line of shoppers on Thursday morning coming to support the event.

Texas Christian University alumnae and Christmas in Cowtown shoppers Caroline Albritton and Tara Cook said they were excited to check out the gift market, and it met all of their expectations.

“The Christmas booths they have are really good.” Albritton said. “I really like these little placemats they have. I bought one for each of my nephews.”

Even in October, Albritton and Cook said Christmas in Cowtown was the perfect way to get excited for the next few months.

And Bundy agreed.

“I think it’s perfect to kick off the holiday season,” Bundy said. “It’s just a time to come celebrate.”