Shopping local is important to folks in small towns for a variety of reasons: it’s good for the economy, it encourages small businesses, and offers support to local artists and craftsmen. Folks in the area will have a chance to do some local shopping at the upcoming Arts & Crafts Open-Air Market.
Why an Open-Air Market?
The market will be hosted by the Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce and Williamson Parks and Recreation on Saturday, September 12th. Open 10:00am to 3:00pm, the market will feature a variety of hand-crafted arts and crafts, and other goods for purchase. Organizers describe it as a perfect way to “pick up some one-of-a-kind finds” rather than shopping at big box stores. While they will not be allowing food vendors due to COVID-19 guidelines, there will be food available for purchase from the Parks and Recreation concession stand.
Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce President, Chris Dotson says, “ As a non-profit organization, the chamber realizes so many other civic groups and artisans have also suffered income loss this year due to cancelled fundraisers and festivals. We wanted to offer a safe opportunity for them to set up their booths and make a little cash.”
Randall Sanger, Executive Director of the Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce personally understands the financial impact of cancelled fairs and festivals this year. As the owner of his own photography business, Randall Sanger Photography, Sanger adds, “For many of us, our work is our primary means of income and a way to provide for our families. With art galleries closed and art shows and festivals cancelled, our visibility has decreased dramatically.”
Vendor Sign Up
Dotson explains, through their partnership with Williamson Parks and Recreation, they are able to offer the Open-Air Market at Lefty Hamilton Park in West Williamson,next to the Williamson Field House. This location will provide a safer shopping environment and plenty of social distancing space.
The market is still accepting vendors. As an arts & crafts market, they are mainly looking for vendors with handcrafted items, wooden crafts, art, and other handcrafted goods, as well as any local authors who might want to sell their books. A limited number of vendor spaces will also be available for non-handcrafted items which meet vendor guidelines.
As an added bonus, those coming to shop at the Open-Air Market will also have a chance to attend another family-friendly event in Williamson that afternoon. The Williamson Farmers Market will be hosting Pumpkin Palooza at their market lot on 3rd. Avenue, Williamson on Saturday, September 12th from 11:00am - 1:00pm.
“We know everyone is tired and ready to get out, so these outdoor activities are something we can offer for all to enjoy in a safer setting. We hope everyone comes to support the vendors and these local events,” concludes Dotson.
To learn more about the Open-Air Market or to apply to be a vendor, check out the event Facebook page. You can also call the Tug Valley Chamber Of Commerce office at 304-235-5240.