PARKERSBURG-Organizers saw a huge opening-day crowd Friday at the Downtown Farmers' Marketplace.
City Planning Director Rickie Yeager said the opening was the biggest yet for the market at Bicentennial Park. Several vendors saw a brisk business. Stacy Farm sold out in about an hour, as customers gobbled up its strawberries and cabbage.
The 19th Street Meat Market also appeared to be huge hit, with a steady of stream of customers lined up throughout the day.
Downtown Farmers’ Marketplace opens in Parkersburg for 2011.
Yeager said opening day is typically the second biggest day of the year for the market. This year, Cam Huffman, executive director of the economic roundtable, said officials saw a record opening-day crowd.
Yeager said 15 minutes prior to the market's opening they had more than 100 women standing in line for the free flower giveaway.
"We have seen a substantial increase and we have been more than steady," Yeager said.
Photo by Jody Murphy
Customers peruse the Downtown Farmers’ Marketplace Friday.
Officials said the sunny weather was a factor in pulling people to the market at Third and Market streets.
The market opened with about 25 vendors. Yeager said within a few weeks, when the vendors begin harvesting vegetables, the market will have to expand into the yard.
While the wireless hotspot was up and running, the market's credit card machine was unavailable. Yeager said officials had not downloaded some operational software for the machine, but it would be running for Tuesday's market.
The addition of a credit card machine should translate into increased business for the vendors.
Yeager said research on credit card machines indicate a 20 percent increase in business.
To see what's happening at the market, people can register to receive the e-news letter, view the website at www.parkersburgfarmersmarket.com or check in on Facebook.
"We have dairy, meat, cheeses, crafts, fruits and vegetables. It really is a market," Yeager said.