MIDDLETON, NS - Janice Slauenwhite wanted good weather, lots of vendors, and big crowds for the first day of the new Middleton outdoor market at Macdonald Museum May 31.
She got all three and rave reviews for the new museum-hosted venture that runs Thursdays from 4 to 7 p.m. at 21 School Street.
“Day 1 was better than expected, all we hoped for – and people came,” said the museum director. Crowds of shoppers perused the museum’s shady front lawn with the final count on the clicker being 774 people. Six hundred had visited in the first hour.
“We have pretty much everything you could imagine,” she said. “We have eggs, we have meat, we have produce, bedding plants, – somebody had cat grass. We have dog and cat treats, dog beds, we have games made from reclaimed marine debris, we have maple syrup, all kinds of really good home baking, paintings, beautiful knitting, alpaca wool, sheep’s wool, sewing, doll clothes, gluten-free baking, jewelry, freeze-dried fruit.”
The list goes on with 36 vendors at the Macdonald Museum Market all told on opening day with lots more in the wings for future markets including Sissiboo Coffee and D’Aubin’s Sausages. Currently on paper there are 44 vendors. Valley Flax Flour will be joining the market intermittently, Slauenwhite said.
“We do have space for a few more vendors,” she said, “so if anybody is interested it’s only $5 a week for a space. At this point you really need to be able to bring your own table. We’ve run out of tables. And if you have a canopy, that’s great. We can make room for you.”
There was a festive atmosphere at the inaugural event, with young and old alike taking part. One young vender was selling homemade soft drinks by the glass. There was art made from beer bottle caps. Hemp oil. Seed and Scarecrow Farm was there from Belleisle, and Hang Ups Clothespins from Cambridge Station in the other direction.
And there was music and song.
“Entertainment was amazing,” Slauenwhite said. “It was Bob Deveau. He’s well known through the Valley and he’s done a great job. Our entertainers are volunteering their time, so we really, really appreciated Bob coming down – and he even did balloon animals for some of the kids. He’s been just singing his heart out.”
The entertainer for the upcoming Macdonald Museum Market on June 7 from 4 to 7 p.m. is Mark Clarke from the New Minas area. He’s been a popular regular performer at many markets throughout the Valley.