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Open Air Market returns to downtown Norway

NORWAY — The Norway Downtown Development Authority will kick off its second-annual Open Air Market on Thursday on Main Street in the downtown.

The market is open from 5:30 to about 8:15 p.m. every Thursday through Aug. 22, with the exception of July 4.

The event coincides with Music in the Park and is adjacent to the bandshell on Main Street in Norway, with concerts to begin at 7 p.m.

An Open Air Market is different from a farmers or artisan market, as it allows the DDA to feature a wider variety of individual vendors that produce high-quality products, DDA Event Coordinator Gina Zanon explained.

Another great aspect is the market is never the same. “You have to come every week, because you never know what you are going to miss,” said Debbie Hood, market coordinator, which is the reason for its name, as it is constantly changing.

“I’m surprised by the number of talented people right in the Norway area,” Zanon added.

This year, the DDA will open earlier for shoppers, plus add a week after the summer music series ends.

They will feature 14 full-time and 11 part-time vendors, offering a wide variety of products that include crafts, artwork, cards, lotions, candles, flowers, plants, baked goods and treats, jewelry, aprons, macrame, wreaths, produce and greens.

“We have many that are returning, which means they had a good first year with us,” Hood said, adding they averaged about 13 vendors each night last year.

The DDA has filled all its vendors for the season, but those interested can contact Hood in case a vacancy opens.

“We are very grateful for the many vendors that expressed interest to be with us,” Hood said.

This year they tried to make it more of a community event, adding special theme nights and events, including demonstrations, Christmas in July and a youth vendor night to close out the season.

The young participants will still need to follow the same guidelines. “They will have to make or produce each item that they have for sale,” Zanon said, adding they are still accepting youth vendor applications.

“There will be some surprises for the evening,” Hood said.

The DDA the first week will also host a “Beginner Sugar Cookie Decorating Class” from 4 to 5 p.m. The class is limited to 15 participants. Anyone interested can sign up at Norway City Hall. Cost is $25.

Zanon said she is working with local businesses to join in some of the weekly activities as well.

Each week, a special area will be set up to make promotional material, fliers and business cards available to shoppers.

“Last year, Edward Jones brought beach balls and threw them out to the crowd when the music started,” Hood said. “Holmberg’s passed out water and Dilly Bars — every

The DDA hopes that downtown businesses extend shopping hours for those who come to spend the evening in Norway.

“We hope that with each event it will draw more community members to the downtown,” Zanon said. “And possibly bring in new businesses — that’s our goal.”

Those from the surrounding communities who are unable to attend the Out to Lunch program on Thursday afternoons will still be able to see free live music and discover Norway’s restaurants and businesses.

“I think Norway has a lot to give and offer people,” Zanon said. “It will be awesome to see a lot of people downtown and get that Main Street going.”

The DDA encourages the community to come out this summer and support the weekly vendors. “Our mayor came every week to help promote,” Hood said, referring to Candy Brew. “I think that it’s important.”

Zanon invited everyone to spend Thursday evenings in Norway.

“It’s going to be big this year,” Hood said.

For more information, contact Hood at 906-396-3913.

Open Air Market first week vendors include:

≤ Peterson’s Family Bakery, decorated cookies workshop

≤ Kathy Bilski, crafts

≤ Donna Rochonn crafts

≤ Dawn Tenuta, crafts

≤ Kim Wartella, rag wreaths and flowers

≤ Paula Anderson, jellies, lotions and crafts

≤ Dennis Bal, produce

≤ Bob Biggs, Dexters Microgreens

≤ Heidi Harwell of Blue Jar Farms, fresh flowers

≤ Dulce Nulla, gluten-free bakery and treats

≤ Kara Laskowski, baked goods

≤ Millie’s Market, bakery and pasties

≤ Laura Bailey, fine art

≤ Samantha Howell, macrame

≤ Laura Lobner, fine art

≤ Carla Baker, jewelry

≤ Julie Ivey, jewelry (granddaughter with aprons)

≤ Kevin Mayer, soy candles

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