Winter Market turnout and reaction positive; more vendors anticipated

PARKERSBURG – An assortment of foods, mums, apple butter and fall decorations greeted the public for the first Winter Farmers’ Market at 113 Ann St. in downtown Parkersburg on Saturday.

Rickie Yeager, city planner for the City of Parkersburg, said 15 vendors showed up for the first winter market, which will be open from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month through March.

As for the first day, Yeager said the turnout and reaction were both positive.

“It’s going really well, it was steady all day,” he said. “So far the public’s reaction has been positive, they like the building, our vendors are happy with the facility and there is a lot of interest.”

Yeager said as the season progresses, organizers will add more vendors.

“We had one who could not make it today,” he said. “By November and December we hope to add five more vendors. We are getting to the part where we are full and that is a good problem.”

Yeager said only one part the building is in use for now and more of the building will open in the future. The unused section was open for the public to take a look on Saturday.

Yeager said the Ann Street facility will be joined by the new Point Park Market Place which will replace the market in Bicentennial Park which has hosted the farmers’ market for the past several years.

“In the spring of 2014 the outdoor market will be relocating to Point Park,” he said.

Darlene and Joe Kiger, of Parkersburg, said they came away from the first Winter Market on Saturday with a positive impression.

“It’s great, I’ve talked to everybody inside and they seemed happy with it,” Darlene Kiger said.

They both said the marketplace was something Parkersburg has needed for a long time.

“This give you an idea of what a progressive government can do,” Joe Kiger said. “I think maybe someone in D.C. needs to come to Parkersburg and see how it’s done and get a grip on things.

“I think the city is doing some a fantastic job here, it’s been needed here for a long time.”

However, one thing was disappointing.

“I’m disappointed it will be open once a month,” she said. “I’ve been wanting to go to Marietta but I haven’t made it so this is great.”

Ed Long, co-owner of Ed and Ellen’s Greenhouse in Apple Grove, said he usually sells at the Capitol Marketplace in Charleston, but came up with an assortment of pumpkins, gourds, Indian Corn and mums for the opening in Parkersburg.

Usually Long sells only what he grows, but the wet spring and summer kept him from planting his crops and harvesting what he was able to plant.

Ellen Long said she has been growing and selling mums for 15 years and sells only those she grows. Although they have a greenhouse she said the mums begin growing outside.

“At some markets people will buy the mums they will sell,” she said. “It’s cheaper that way and they don’t have to do as much work.

“We learned to do the work on ours.”