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Former N.B. premier's mansion becomes Nutcracker suite for Christmas market

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There were several Christmas markets in the Greater Moncton area on Saturday, but one, located roughly 30 minutes away, was definitely worth the trip.

The Nutcracker was the theme for the fourth annual Christmas market at the Lady Smith Manor in Dorchester, N.B.

The home was built in 1840 and was owned by Sir Albert James Smith, who was Premier of New Brunswick in the mid-1860s.

The manor is owned by Miriam Andrews and her husband Steven Trites.

The couple moved from Kelowna, B.C., to Dorchester after purchasing the 8,000-square-foot home in 2019.

The Lady Smith Manor in Dorchester, N.B., is pictured. (Derek Haggett/CTV Atlantic)

Andrews said she wanted people to come in and experience the story of the Nutcracker, but admits decorating the nearly 200-year-old home was a lot of work.

“But to be very honest, we love it. It brings the manor to life and it really gives us a space where people can come and really enjoy celebrating the festive season and actually bringing people in the community together because it gives people not only a place to shop with the local artisans, but we also have a lot of market activities,” said Andrews.

Crystal Richard came to the market with her mother and was very impressed with how every room had a different theme.

“This is one of the most unique Christmas markets in New Brunswick, in the Maritimes. It’s not Christmas until you’ve been to the Lady Smith Manor,” said Richard.

Richard said any of the markets that Andres does brings in people from other parts of the Maritimes.

“I’ve seen people this summer at her summer market from other provinces. It’s just such a great opportunity to showcase local makers, local vendors and to celebrate the holidays together,” said Richard.

Andrews said people usually shift into the festive spirit as soon as they enter the home.

“They walk in and they’re like, ‘Wow,’ we really want you to feel immersed into Christmas and the Nutcracker story,” said Andrews.

Andrews and her husband have done extensive renovations to the manor over the past four years, and they’re not quite done yet.

“We’re still working on renovations. It’s kind of one of those projects that seems to never end, but we’re very, very close to having the Thirsty Whippet Pub open. We’re hoping by the end of this year,” said Andrews.

The Christmas market at the Lady Manor will be open again on Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Advance tickets are $5, but Andrews said walk-ins are welcome.

For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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