Farmers market is drawing people downtown

Bob Caley (left) purchases produce from Jackie Hobbs at the Downtown Farmers Market on the corner of Market and Warren streets, in Huntington, on Wednesday, July 31. The market is open every Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Photo by Steve Clark.

A downtown farmers market has been a new sight in Huntington this summer.

So far, people have liked what they've seen.

The market is open at the corner of Market and Warren Streets each Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. In operation for the past seven weeks, Steve Kimmel, executive director of the Huntington County Chamber of Commerce, has seen the market grow appreciably over that time.

"I think it's becoming very successful," he says, noting the market's growth from five vendors in its first week to 14 last week and 20 the week before.

Kimmel attributes the growth to the increased amount of produce at the market, which has been in-demand and vendors have stepped up to provide.

"What I'm noticing is we're getting repeat vendors now, and so obviously they're having success," Kimmel says. "The people that I've talked to down there are very happy."

In addition to produce, the market offers baked goods, hand-made gifts and other items, and Kimmel acknowledges that its growth may eventually necessitate expansion into the parking lot adjacent to its current location.

But for now, Kimmel is satisfied to see the market serving one of its main purposes.

"The whole idea behind this is getting more people downtown," he says. "If we can get them downtown on to that corner, then maybe we can get them over to Jefferson Street."

The market has even served a purpose Kimmel didn't foresee.

"What we're seeing is not only are they coming down and they're purchasing off of people in town, but it's kind of a social hour," he says. "People are talking and they're having fun. It's just kind of neat to see the people touching base with one another."

Kimmel says the market will continue until the last Wednesday in October.

"We've got three more months of it," he says. "It's exciting. It's fun. We're having a good time."