Park Silly Sunday Market is hopping in June.
On July 7, Park Silly's Sunday Market marked its 100th day. The event, a local festival for fresh foods, unique crafts and gifts, as well as music and general merriment, has been going on since 2007.
The market has grown a lot since its inception. According to Director of Media and Marketing Ryan Cray, the 50-or-so vendors in the first year had to be searched out by the market's board members. These days, the booths fill fast, with 150 vendors on the street on any given Sunday and a wait list of applicants. The quality of the vendors has been enhanced, and the number of performers and musical talent has grown.
"The market has grown a lot," says Cray. "Since I've been here, attendance has doubled." Cray says between 5,000 and 7,000 people visited Park Silly the year he arrived 2010, increasing to 10,000 to 12,000 in 2012.
Park Silly co-creator Kimberly Kuehn's initial vision was to create a local community market, creating opportunity for local businesses and a place Parkites could meet up on Sundays. The venture has been a success, garnering attention not just from locals, but tourists as well. In response to the turnout, more kids activities have been added and a Bloody Mary bar and beer garden were introduced.
"The market is still growing," Cray says. "We love being on Main Street."
The market is also passionate about the environment, taking part in zero waste eco-cycling, ensuring the event does not contribute so much to growing landfill and environmental issues. Food vendors use recyclable plates, cups and utensils which customers can deposit at one of the several Zero Waste collector bins along Main Street. The wet waste is sent to Coalville and used as pig feed. According to their website, only 16 bags of resulting market trash was sent to the landfill during the 2012 season.
Park Silly Sunday Market happens is every Sunday through Sept. 22, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (except Aug. 11, when the Kimball Arts Festival takes over Main Street). Click here for more information about the market.