The Perry Chamber of Commerce hosted the town’s first Winter Market on both Friday and Saturday, Feb. 9-10 this year. Despite the threat of a potential blizzard, the market stayed open and will likely return again next year.
“I definitely think next year I want to do it again,” said President of the Perry Chamber of Commerce, Emily Leslie.
Out of 15 vendors, three did not attend due to the weather, still leaving 12 vendors that participated.
Branching into a whole new season, Leslie originally wanted the market to feature items that typically are not sold in the summer, items that typically can not withstand heat, such as chocolates, for example.
Chocolate vendor and Perry resident, Deena Hanson brought her chocolate business to the Friday market.
“This is my first one,” Hanson said about attending a winter market. “It’s always good to support your hometown and where you’re at.
“I figured it’s worth a try.”
Besides bringing a crowd to Perry’s downtown district, vendors believe the winter market helps serve a purpose for their business.
“It gets your name out there mostly,” said Jeff Hay, Vendor, of Redfield.
Around 15 vendors were scheduled to show for the event, but some had to cancel due to the potential weather hazards.
“We had three vendors that backed out because of the weather,” Leslie said. “Weather was a little bit of a factor.”
After hosting the event, Leslie says an additional second location could be added in the future.
“We had 15 vendors call and I had 15 vendors on the list,” Leslie said. “So if we would have had all 15 vendors show up on Friday, it would have been really cramped.
“I think going forward, since this was perceived well by the community and vendors, it would be fun to do it in two different locations and do a larger market.”
In addition to a potential new location, Leslie said she hopes to see a continued variety in products.
“I think it would be fun to do a demonstration next year,” Leslie said. “I think bringing more of those activities in Perry would be beneficial for the community and just providing that one more thing to do in Perry.”
Some of the Winter Market’s vendors have agreed to join the summer run of Perry’s Farmers Market.
“We talked about it,” Leslie said. “We set our hours and we set the dates and now we will talk about the vendor fees and what they will want to do for the summer.”
“I’m excited to see what they want to do and what they would be looking forward to this year.”