Both markets in Burlington seeing a strong start to summer

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) –

Even on a rainy day, The Burlington Farmer’s Market on Pine Street remains a summer staple.

“Really strong start, nice days are obviously the busiest but even today is a rainy day and we’re getting traffic,” said Hannah Stearns, the director of the Burlington Farmer’s Market.

The Farmer’s Market season began in May. Three weeks ago, BTV MKT opened for the first time in City Hall Park.

“I think the vibrancy of this space has been amazing on the weekends,” said Samantha McGinnis, the City of Burlington’s Project and Event Manager.

Traditionally, the Burlington Farmer’s Market took over City Hall Park every Saturday, but they moved to Pine Street when renovations occurred.

The Farmer’s Market elected to stay there another year, saying that there were issues ranging from available space to public and vendor safety that would come with the return to City Hall Park.

The City of Burlington moved forward with creating BTV MKT to fill the park, as a space for craft makers and artists.

We told you in April that the Farmer’s market had concerns with the city creating a market with a similar name during the same day and similar as their market.

So, how has business gone for 90 vendors at the Farmer’s Market since BTV MKT came to town?

“We haven’t lost any vendors which is great I think it’ll take the season to compare numbers and see the effects but I don’t think we’re really seeing negative impacts as of right now,” said Stearns.

Vendors we spoke with say they agree.

“I’ve found my business hasn’t been effected much, I can’t see a difference really,” said Debra Boyer of ‘Vermont Vinegar.’

“This has been a great spot for me and I’m happy to be in the middle of things and it’s been good,” said Martha Hull of ‘Martha’s Cute and Deadly Art.’

Over at BTV MKT, McGinnis says business has been steady for the 50 vendors at City Hall Park, too.

“We really hope people are checking out both, you can grab your veggies and check out the farmers and then come here and check out the artists and makers and make a whole morning or day with the markets,” said McGinnis.

For some BTV MKT vendors, the option for a retail-based market has been helpful.

“This one really is makers and retail items and it gives us who might not have fit the bill for the farmers market a chance to also vend with someone during the summertime,” said Marina McCoy of ‘Restock Shop.’

As for what’s next for each market, both parties say it’s too soon to tell. The city says they hope to continue BTV MKT for a long time and will continue dialogue with the Farmer’s Market. The Farmer’s Market says if they have other location options to vote on, they’ll discuss when the time comes.

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