Buyers and sellers alike braved searing temperatures Thursday afternoon to find each other at the Perry Farmers Market in its new venue at the Josh Davis Memorial Plaza.
About half-a-dozen vendors brought goods to market in the 90-degree heat, and coming weeks promise a greater number and variety, according to the Perry Chamber of Commerce’s plan.
It was comfortable in the shade, but the shade was only partial, and some customers regretted the move.
“Holy cow, it was hot,” said one shopper, “and the poor vendors looked overheated, and it was only 4:15 p.m. when I was there. One of them had no shade to at least shield them from the sun. You might want to rethink the location.”
The vendors themselves, however, seemed pretty well satisfied. An informal survey among them showed one seller of produce had sold all but about 5 percent of his vegetables by the time the market began to wind down. Another seller, without descending to particulars, affirmed a significant increase in sales.
“I admit I was a little scared about the move,” said a seller of curious arts and crafts, “but I think this is going to be a good move in the long run.”
One onlooker suggested putting the vendors under tents on the bocce ball court and letting customers circulate around them.
Trade appeared to be brisk, at any rate, and a number of pillars of Perry’s retail community were seen inspecting the goods, including Medicap’s Dave Wright and La Poste’s Jenny Eklund.
“Change is very hard,” said Emily Leslie, a Perry Chamber of Commerce Board member and one of the organizers of the moved market. “But honestly, by the end of the night, I went around and touched base with every vendor, and they only had positive things to say about the move.”
The joy of a farmers market does not only consist in buying and selling. It is the chance meetings with friends that lends a sweetness to the trading. Several lingering lights from last weekend’s All-’70s Class Reunion were found meeting among the stalls, and that kind of transaction is priceless.