Sue Thorn, LEFT, Chicago, chats with fused glass artist Wendy Reiter, Ripon, after buying a piece of Reiter’s work at Town Square’s Summer Market. Hannah Tetzlaff photo
by Hannah Tetzlaff
Rocking and rolling while shopping and strolling is an experience all can share when visiting Green Lake Town Square.
Through the fall and the spring, the Town Square hosted a Saturday market indoors.
Due to its great reception, the community center is offering the market in the summer for the first time.
The Summer Market occurs every Saturday through Sept. 24 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the east lawn of Town Square.
Vendors must follow three criteria: homegrown, handmade and organic. This means that produce vendors must grow their own food and cannot try to resell food products that they may have bought at a grocery store.
The criteria also prevents individuals from trying to resell their unwanted possessions.
“It isn’t like a flea market where you’re going to buy something that isn’t unique or that somebody has already owned,” Green Lake Renewal Manager of Programming and Marketing Christine Murphy said.
One of the aspects that make the Saturday market unique is the organic element.
According to Murphy, the market offers the wares and services of about 20 vendors, with products ranging from quilted runners, wall hangings and purses, to fused and soldered glass jewelry.
Other unique goods are themed wooden pens, wood-turned bowls, pepper grinders, quilted Teddy bears, kids’ place mats, bags made from re-purposed boating sails and aprons created out of vintage table cloths.
While browsing the diverse crafts, visitors are regaled with live music performed by musicians like an accordion player, guitarist or a complete band.
“Music brings people together and lends a liveliness to the excitement and environment of the market,” Murphy said. “It also brings an easiness to it too. It makes people relaxed and makes you feel good.”
The vendors add to the enjoyable and festive atmosphere.
“They’re really an embracing group of people,” she said. “They’re highly social, very easygoing, easy to talk to … They are very engaged in one another and visitors of the market, which is very nice. It brings a personal touch.”
Although the Town Square hosts 20 vendors already, Murphy wishes for the market to continue to grow and for the number of vendors to increase to 30 by the end of the season. With a price of $30 for vendors for the season, Murphy may accomplish her goal.
Her dream for the market is to see it flourish into a bazaar that is a miniature size of Oshkosh’s and Madison’s markets.
“The idea would be to fill Mill Street to the point where we have to shut down the street and line it with vendors and just let people stroll the street market,” she said.
Even though the Saturday Summer Market is located outside, stormy weather does not deter the Town Square or the vendors.
“The key thing is if the weather is inclement the market still takes place; it just moves indoors, so don’t be dissuaded,” Murphy said.