Final Farmers Market in the midst of a festival

MANCHESTER — After a successful summer season, Manchester's Farmers Market decided to stay open just a little bit longer to welcome visitors to the Independent Television and Film Festival (ITVFest) last week.

Festival-goers and locals alike amassed at Adams Park for the final farmers market, which provided a fitting end for a season of growth according to vendors.

"We hope to go out with a real bang this year," said Jeff Grimshaw, whose wife Susan crafts jams for their business Vermont Tiny Kitchen. "As the Bennington [farmers market] foot traffic is down markedly this past year, Manchester has gone up."

"It's been a wonderful year," added Susan. "We've met people from all over the world. I've sent jam home to Japan, China, Scotland, even South America."

From Grimshaw's perspective, that increase in visitors is the result of active marketing tactics taken on by the Manchester Farmers Market.

"They've really been banging the drum and getting out there; they've been very active on social media," said Grimshaw. "They've been doing the right things, and have been rewarded for it."

Vermont Tiny Kitchen is not the only business that's noticed an increase in visitors this year, however.

"In Manchester the market has been growing in the past two years," said Christine Gaud of Saratoga Apple. "That's great, because that's not the general tendency. Manchester is set apart from the different markets that we do."

According to manager Krysta Piccoli, the farmers market has also seen an increase in vendors this year.

"It's been a good season. We've had a fair amount of new vendors alongside our usual returning vendors," Piccoli said last Thursday. "The turnout from customers has been great as well, but we're absolutely hoping to see folks from ITVFest today. It's hard to miss them, they're everywhere, which is great. It's good for the town."

While vendors and organizers alike anticipate increase foot-traffic from ITVFest, the season has already brought visitors from across the globe to downtown Manchester.

"It's always fun here, and I love meeting people from here but I also love meeting them from away," said Lynn Eckhardt, who handcrafts unique bags and totes. "When a bag goes to England or California it makes me very happy."

"I've had people visit from Japan and England, so some of my work has gone international which is pretty exciting," said Jennifer Henske, also known as The Happy VT Potter. "It's just great meeting new people, and seeing people who bought your stuff last year coming back for more. It's been wonderful."


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