HALLSVILLE — “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” And now some East Texas women won’t have to brave the lines on Black Friday next week after getting a jump on their Christmas shopping on Friday during the second annual Le Femme event at Hallsville’s Walker’s Mill Vineyard.

About 200 women turned out Friday for the event which featured almost 30 local vendors and businesses ranging from salons, food, boutiques, travel, jewelry and more.

This year’s guests enjoyed Christmas shopping in the picturesque setting of the vineyard and its event barn and outdoor courtyard.

Some guests warmed themselves by the outdoor firepit while others warmed themselves with the free margaritas, during a night that was just for the ladies.

“We wanted to make this year’s event larger and we definitely have more vendors this year and we had sold more than 100 tickets before the event started,” Walker’s Mill Vineyard Special Events Coordinator Hayley Smith said on Friday.

Smith said the owners of the vineyard, Art and Adriana Strahan, plan to continue this annual Christmas shopping event each fall.

This year’s event featured several vendors who are brand new to East Texas, including Moon River Salon and Spa which opened this year in Hallsville and the Gypsy Wild.

Smith said vendors from Gypsy Wild Boutique, Deep Relief Massage, Edible Art, Defining Grace Boutique, Street-licious, Blissful Baskets, and many more turned with great deals for shoppers.

“We have gift baskets for teachers, men, women or children,” Smith said.

The owners also hosted several raffle drawings throughout the night, including the top raffle prize — a four hour venue rental of the vineyard’s event barn for an event scheduled Monday through Thursday. The prize is valued at $3,000 and excludes other fees.

A complimentary bar at the shopping event warmed shoppers, as did the outdoor fire pit and food vendors, Edible Art and Street-licious.

DJ Ben Weinert of BK Entertainment offered music and entertainment, as did a photo booth.

“Our biggest goal is to get people out to the venue to let people know we are here and we are also very big on supporting local vendors,” Smith said. “It’s a win-win for everyone.”

The vineyard, owned and operated by the Strahans, was originally constructed for their daughter’s wedding in 2016.

The couple now run the vineyard and event venue and have it open to the public.

In addition to the two story barn, complete with a kitchen, restrooms, deck and two balconies, the property also boasts a scenic walking trail through East Texas’ towering pines and a pond.

“Our event center is here for more than just bridal rentals,” Adriana said. “We also host corporate events, birthdays, family get-togethers and events like tonight. We’ve hosted a team building event for LeTourneau University, an event for East Texas Credit Union, and we had the debutantes here. The barn has a capacity for 350 people.”

Adriana said the Hallsville community has embraced the vineyard, but she and her husband want it to be so much more than just a business.

“Before anything, this is a ministry for us,” Adriana said. “We want our faith to shine through in everything we do here.”

For those interested in enjoying dinner or brunch at Walkers Mill, the vineyard is located at 13983 FM 449 in Hallsville and can be reached by phone at 903-619-0012.

To find out more information about the vineyard, visit its website at www.walkersmill.com or its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/walkersmill.