Ashley business leaders are crossing their fingers in hopes to flood High Street with people for the Farmers Market that begins Saturday.
Village officials have blocked off the village’s calendar for every Saturday until October for the market. The market will be open from 9 a.m. to noon.
“We tried a Farmers Market a few years ago, but it didn’t work,” said Elaine McFarland, a member of the village council. “We’re trying again this year.”
McFarland said she hopes this will “get people into the village” and “fill the sidewalks.”
McFarland said people that have seen the posting on the village Facebook page “think it’s good idea.” She said the market is free to vendors, but they have to bring their own tables. She said vendors can sell fresh fruits, vegetables, baked goods, crafts, jewelry, but “absolutely no yard sale items.”
Nancy Hoopes, owner of the Dari Barn near the railroad tracks on East High Street, said she is vegetarian and would like to see a farmer’s market in the village. She said only one vendor attended the last farmer’s market held a couple of years ago in the village.
“I had them set up outside next to our front door,” she said. “Since they were the only vendor, they were swamped with customers.”
Hoopes said she would “like to see fresh vegetables” in the market since there isn’t a grocery store in Ashley.
Rachel Smith of Mobile Cycle Works Inc. on High Street, said she hopes there is a good turnout for the market.
“It’s a great event and it’s important to support the community,” she said. “I hope people come out to support the Ma and Pa businesses and I hope that it will draw people into the village.”
Smith said the people of Ashley have been very supportive of the motorcycle shop since it opened in 2000.
“The community has had nothing but words of praise for the improvements to the old buildings downtown,” she said.
Smith said the owner of the building is her father-in-law, John Schumacher, the owner of the Mobile Cycle Works Inc. She said Schumacher has taken the building back to the bare brick look of the 1940s when it was built.
According to Smith, the old building the motorcycle shop is located in used to be Ashley’s hardware store.
“I love farmer’s markets myself,” said Joey Haught of Rotary Products on High Street.
Haught said he isn’t from Ashley, but hopes it does bring more people to the downtown.
Other farmer’s markets around Delaware County include:
• Powell Chamber Farmers Market — Open May 13 to Oct. 28, Saturday mornings 9 a.m. to noon.
• Main Street Delaware Farmers’ Market — Open May 27 to Oct. 28, Wednesday 3 to 6 p.m., Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
• Sunbury Farmers’ Market — Open May to October, Saturday 9 a.m. to noon.
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.