Red Barn Market

Red Barn Market will return, Nov. 19-20 at the Northwest Washington Fairgrounds in Lynden. (Courtesy photos)

LYNDEN — The Red Barn Market is back, after COVID-19 closures and a week that started with intense flooding.

Kelsey Beld Tolsma owns the Muddy Waters coffee stand in Lynden with her husband Aaron. Kelsey, the event’s founder and organizer, said this year’s market on Friday and Saturday at the fairgrounds will be much larger than in previous years. 

Tolsma, now 32, has three children and is a stay-at-home mother with extra interests and side gigs. In college she studied early childhood education and had a one year stint at a Christian college. 

She didn’t want to accumulate to much educational debt and found her own way into the business world. 

Recently, she and her sister Brenna Beld also operated a coffee cart in a trailer at the fair, Wired Coffee. That was sold after five years.

She had worked for Muddy Waters, where she also met her future husband as a customer, before buying it in 2016 and having Brenna manage its daily operations.

Her 11-year-old Oh Snap! Photo booth business developed when she wanted one for her wedding but couldn’t find one. 

“I’ve been doing markets since 2011 or 2012,” she said and added the first year was at Hopewell Grange outside of Everson called “Holiday Hoopla” with friend Katie Roosma.

When they moved the event to the fairgrounds it was initially the Whatcom Garage Sale in 2016. 

One goal is to keep the costs down. Another is to have fun. 

This year is slated to have more than 85 vendors for this upcoming market -- the most they have ever had. 

“We will be in two barns -- Expo and Pavilion -- and are offering classes on Friday night (Watercolor Class) and Saturday morning (wreath making). 

Tickets are available online for the classes and special events or even won through radio station 106.5 FM. Visit Friday night is the VIP night, and includes a beverage, treats and other surprises.

There will also be live music this night to enjoy. Red Barn excited to welcome Pete’s Poutine for their first ever event in Lynden. They also will have more food options than ever before: Poffertjes, Waffles in Paradise, Graze and Gather and Sugar and Spice Mini Donuts. 

“I’ve always loved to plan events,” she said. “When a friend and I started our own little crafting business we decided to host a craft show, and I’ve never stopped. It’s something I really enjoy doing, plus I love that it’s supporting small businesses.”

Tolsma, who initially attended Lynden Christian Schools as a child, was home schooled following her mother’s recovery from cancer so they could spend more time together.

Tuesday, Kelsey Beld Tolsma posted on her Facebook page that Red Barn will donate “a portion of ticket sales to those who have been affected so greatly by the flooding in Whatcom County.”

“We are also compiling a list of needed items and will be collecting those at the Market to get to people who will need them,” Tolsma said. “We are so thankful for this community and are looking forward to seeing you soon.”