Behind the Scenes: Cambria Christmas Market

            There are many holiday events that go on in San Luis Obispo and surrounding areas. One such event is the Cambria Christmas Market. It is styled after the infamous European style markets. A local Cambria business owner, Dirk Winter, loved the German and Austrian style of the markets so much that he thought something

Market Coordinator, George Marshall talks about what the market has done for Cambria
Market Coordinator, George Marschall, talks about what the market has done for Cambria

like them would do well in Cambria.

            George Marschall, one of the market coordinators, also added “Our town is very quiet  from Thanksgiving to just before Christmas. So we wanted to bring more tourism here. And one thing Americans like is Christmas lights.”

            For Journalism 462, Team One and Done decided to learn more about the market and spread the word about it to the Cal Poly community. It is an event that the entire group had either been to already or was planning to visit this year. Originally, we wanted to do the project on more than one event going on for the holidays, but with a looming deadline, it seemed like it would be a better and more efficient story to just focus on one event and cover it really well. We settled on the Cambria Christmas Market.

The group talks about which topic they would like to cover
The group talks about which topic they would like to cover

Immediately, we began reaching out to people that worked at the market. For myself, as the public relations group member, I had the most work in the first few days of the project. I began posting on social media to see what the Cal Poly community would be most interested in. I then reached out to Mike Arnold, one of the market coordinators. He and the other coordinator, George Marschall, were extremely helpful in setting up interviews, as well as giving the group a lot of details about the market.

The entire group found this to be a rewarding topic to work on, as well as a fun ending to the class.

“I had a lot of fun on this last project. I had never been to the Cambria Christmas Market before and it was really cool. The workers and owner were really nice and talkative, so it made writing the story more enjoyable and a lot easier,” said Rachel Furtado, the group member that worked on the print portion of the project.

The group made the trip out to Cambria to visit the market first hand and were able to see the millions of lights they have on display, as well as sample some of the traditional market goods, such as brats and gluhwein (hot spiced wine).  At the market, the team was also able to speak with the people who work there and run it.


“I loved doing the broadcast portion of this project. My specialty is video, so it was a great opportunity. I found no challenges to the process. It was extremely rewarding interviewing different people about their part in the Christmas Market, because they were beaming with satisfaction. I wouldn’t have done anything different and loved every step of the process,” said Demi Castanon, the broadcast member of the group.

Trevor Melody, the second print team member, even described the market as a miracle, as he was able to save his story and interview the founder of the event at the market.

“I struggled with this story all week. My sources fell through when I emailed them and so I thought I wasn’t going to be able to do the profile on Dirk. I then was going to switch to doing a story about more of a student perspective of the Cambria Christmas Market, but a Christmas miracle happened and Dirk and his daughter finally got back to me,” said Melody.

This story will definitely translate beautifully through all of the platforms as the print will be full of great information given to the team by talkative and charismatic sources and the broadcast and multimedia portions are bound to be stunning with images of the beautiful lights.

“I really enjoyed doing the multimedia portion of this story, because I was able to tell a story visually. I had a lot of fun working with my team,” said Amanda Fridley, the multimedia member of the group.

This project was a great ending to our work as a team and we all believe it will turn out beautifully. We were able to capture some great images and talk to some wonderful people. It was a rewarding topic and was also a fun one to cover as well.