The Greater Springfield Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (CVB) hosted its first evening farmer’s market on Thursday, Aug. 25 for students and others in the community who may not be able to make it an evening farmer’s market.
The market sits adjacent to The Clark County Heritage Center downtown. It was held from 5-8 p.m. at the request of multiple vendors as an addition to the weekly farmers market on Saturday from 9 a.m to noon.
Camaren Sloan, events manager and Cedarville graduate, said they wanted to reach another market of people. She said the evening market allows vendors to pursue the market as a second income source and accounts for working families that are unable to attend on Saturday. Sloan estimated that roughly 1,000 people attended.
The Thursday market saw 40 vendors compared to the average of 30 at the Saturday market. The evening market is not to replace the Saturday market but rather, it is an extension.
Christopher Schutte, director of the Greater Springfield CVB, said Aug. 25 remains the only confirmed date but hopes to have between four to six afternoon markets annually.
“[The market] brings people back into our downtown core and creates a sense of place and community,” Shutte said.
Schutte said that the event is a great way for college students to see the community. The decorative crafts offered at several booths featured Ohio signs and souvenirs often seen hanging in college dorm rooms.
The local musicians catered to the younger generations by playing contemporary covers as well as original music.
Acoustic guitarist and singer, Jesse Level, started playing as a kid and now performs his original music at the market. Several musicians performed at the Thursday market, including Corey Breth and the band American Landscape.
Many vendors said they enjoy the market because it offers them a place to pursue their passions and promote their small businesses. The afternoon market appeals to vendors who work on Saturday and are unable to attend the morning market. As of right now, the evening markets are free for vendors and the Saturday markets cost $10-$15 for a space, but space is limited.
Students can even set up a table and sell from the market as long as they reserve their space and have any necessary licensing.
The market featured everything from live music and Henna tattoos to a bicycle powered smoothie machine. One particular vendor, Russell Shatto, created coloring books using a combination of hand drawn and photographed images that feature aging Springfield neighborhoods and houses.
“People want the old houses torn down,” Shatto said. So, he created seven coloring books to capture the images before they get destroyed.
Another vendor at the market is author Sheenah Freitas. She sat at a small table selling multiple books, one of which she started writing when she was 14 years old. Freitas has been selling at the Saturday market for the last hree years.
“I’ve always liked reading, and reading and writing kind of go hand in hand,” Freitas said.
For those who may have forgotten their cash at home, the coordinators of the farmers market have a space in the center of the vendors where they accept debit cards and Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards. They work as a middleman as they give wood coins to shoppers to act as a credit, only accepted in the market. The shopper then gives the wood coin to the vendors as a substitute for cash and the vendors subsequently exchange the coins with monetary values written on them in for cash at the end of the day.
Parking is free and available right across the street from the market.
Gabe Chester is a sophomore global business and marketing major and off-campus reporter for Cedars. He loves music, sports, school and God.