North Main Farmer's Market brings fresh crop of local artists, crafters, new visitors to downtown

Monday, July 1, 2002
Artist Carma Lewis kicks back and waits for the crowds at the first weekend of the North Main Saturday Market. The Market will be held every Saturday morning through the month of October, and fresh produce from local farmers will be available for purchase in mid-July. CCN/Elizabeth Bartlett

The North Main Saturday Market made a small but enthusiastic debut Saturday in the midst of the July 4 weekend. The market, which will continue each Saturday through October, had filled 8 of 25 booths, and organizer Vicki Rose said more have already been reserved.

"The farmers are coming mid-July," she said. "Right now we have mostly artists and crafters, but fresh produce isn't far behind."

The market is the brainchild of the North Main Merchants Association and Rose, who always wanted to do this kind of event in Eureka.

"The merchants came up with the idea, and I had worked out a plan for this years ago in Basin Park," said Rose. "They invited me to a meeting, I made a presentation, and received unanimous approval to go ahead. I was thrilled, because getting a group of people anywhere in Eureka to unanimously agree on anything is an accomplishment." Local business owners Ken Ketelsen from Sonny's Pizzeria and Roger Shoffit of The Spring Gallery even offered up the space for the event.

Saturday's offerings varied, from fresh flowers to handmade soap and worked iron decorations.

"We wanted to provide an affordable market for artists, farmers, crafters, those who don't have space in a storefront up on Spring Street," said Rose. "We want to keep vendor space affordable; we charge a flat rate, not a percentage."

"It's an opportunity for me to sell my products and get all the money for my work," said artist Carma Lewis, who brought her ceramics to market.

"Instead of giving a store 40 percent, I work here and take home the money. Plus, people can buy handmade goods directly from the artist or crafter."

Rose sees the market as a project well-suited to the Eureka community.

"Local artists can sell without worrying about overhead costs, restaurant owners will be able to come down and pick up fresh produce, and tourists get to meet the artists themselves," she said. "We want to facilitate this event for all who need it."

The merchants on North Main will also benefit, according to Rose.

"I'm sympathetic to their plight because they've had a couple of tough years," she said. "This will also bring traffic down here and help them, too."

The North Main Saturday Market is held each Saturday in the parking lot next to Spring Gallery at 120 North Main from 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. For more information, call Vicki Rose at (479) 253-1219.

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