ANDERSON — Fresh and local lands right downtown in Anderson this Saturday with the debut of the weekly Anderson City Market.
Look for local produce and handmade wares in booths set up in Athletic Park from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. It’s an opportunity to eat a little healthier and enjoy some shopping while supporting local entrepreneurs and the community.
“People in the community are genuinely excited about it,” said Jody Townsend. She and Brad Land are co-directors of the new market, and both of them exude an optimistic energy about the new endeavor.
Townsend is an Anderson area real estate broker who serves on the city’s beautification team. Land serves as street commissioner for the City of Anderson. They teamed up to organize the project that’s been in the works for several months.
“It’s a positive idea for a positive goal,” said Land.
The market was timed to launch when produce is starting to roll in. Townsend said visitors can expect a number of local produce vendors bringing the freshest fruits and vegetables available. Right now, that’s likely to include berries, greens, beets, radishes, zucchini and more.
“Within about four weeks, the produce is really going to be popping,” said Townsend. The market will be the place to be if you’re looking for those heirloom tomatoes and all the other bounty that Central Indiana soil and sunshine make possible.
In addition, the market has attracted a number of vendors bringing their unique, locally handmade items. The offerings run the gamut from MUGS fresh ground coffee and gourmet teas to Red Banana Designs’ vintage aprons.
“We’re going to have a variety down there. I think it’s going to be pretty cool,” said Townsend. “I’m excited about all of them. “
Dickinson Custom Furniture will be selling handmade kitchen utensils made of native Indiana hardwoods. “They are beautiful… very impressive,” said Townsend.
Quilts, quilted purses, wooden jewelry boxes, birdhouses, puzzles, and even face painting and henna art are also to be found at the Anderson City Market. You may find yourself munching on some Hoosier Kettle Corn while you do the rest of your shopping, too.
Townsend said that’s she’s still getting applications for the new market, and expects that trend to continue. “I’m anticipating growth throughout the summer.”
Participating vendors apply to join the market, including a $25 fee. They can then participate for the entire season for $75, or for an individual Saturday at a cost of $10.
All proceeds go toward the Athletic Pool restoration.
“One of the great things about this is that it’s beneficial to the city without being a cost to the city,” said Townsend. “It will foster communication and a sense of community. It helps entrepreneurs and their small businesses.”
“We think it’s wonderful,” said City of Anderson spokeswoman Charlee Turner. “This is something the city of Anderson has not had. It’s more for the community — an alternative resource for healthy living.”
As the season progresses, there may be other features cropping up at the market. Music is one possibility since the market will make space available for free to acoustic musicians.
“I’m sure it will grow and we’ll learn. It should be an interesting summer,” said Townsend.
A number of sponsors and supporters have jumped on board to help promote the market. On opening day, Townsend noted some of them will be on hand. Main Street Church of God plans to hand out water, and Hoosier Health Plus will offer free muscle tension screenings.
The market will run weekly through Sept. 28. Keep up to speed on market activities at Anderson City Market on Facebook or call 765-606-6447 or to register as a vendor.
Like Nancy Elliott on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @NancyElliott_HB, or call 640-4805.
If you go What: Anderson City Market Where: Athletic Park, E. 8th and Milton Avenue, Anderson When: Saturdays, starting June 29, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., through Sept. 28 More info: Look for Anderson City Market on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org.