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Green Market evolves into popular, successful, monthly community event
by Mark Boehler
Sep 07, 2013 | 51 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sherry Russell of Louisville hand crafts jewelry she sells every month at the Green Market. She will return to the event in October. / Staff photo by Mark Boehler
Sherry Russell of Louisville hand crafts jewelry she sells every month at the Green Market. She will return to the event in October. / Staff photo by Mark Boehler
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It's a sun drenched Saturday morning under a cloudless, blue sky and downtown Corinth's monthly social gathering has couples walking hand-in-hand, entire families enjoying time together, bicyclists with a destination and pet lovers walking their dogs.

There is shopping and food, live music and fellowship, plus free admission to Alcorn County's best kept secret -- the Crossroads Museum.

And no downtown Corinth event is complete without the sound of an approaching train as a black Norfolk-Southern locomotive roars past on its way to Memphis.

It's called the Green Market and it's bursting at its seams.

"It's a huge family-style, social event," said Crossroads Museum Executive Director Brandy Steen. "It just keeps getting better and better."

The event which once won a state-wide award for tourism had 56 vendors in the area known as the C.A.R.E garden at The Depot, 16 of which are enjoying the venue for the very first time.

In its fifth year, the Green Market is the main fundraiser for the museum through vendor fees.

"We have brand new vendors with every market," added Zack Steen, a committee member and founding member. "It's amazing. Just out of the blue they show up."

Tommy Ledbetter is another committee member and founding member.

"It gets better and more organized every year," noted Ledbetter. "This brings people to town who would not otherwise come."

Both Ledbetter and Zack Steen agreed there are many downtown businesses who see the benefit of more people coming downtown.

"Many businesses see the potential in the draw," added Zack.

Many visitors Saturday were seen checking out Corinth's newest development -- the SoCo District -- or strolling down Fillmore.

Sherry Russell of Louisville, Miss. got up at 2 a.m. Saturday to be at the Corinth event -- one she has not missed this year.

"We do pretty well here," said Russell, who hand crafts her jewelry when not busy with customers. "That's why we keep coming back."

Many local and regional craft and food producers love the event, including the mother-daughter tandem of Diane Spears and Kerri Smith of Krazy Ladies Crafts and Sewing of Corinth.

"We've made a lot of friends at this event," noted Kerri Smith, as she enjoyed lunch with her mother and other family members under a tent displaying handmade aprons and wreaths.

"We are selling more and more," added Diane Spears, who designs the patterns and daughter makes the finished products. "It just keeps growing."

Zack thinks one reason for the growth has been the result of the popularity and affordability of repurposed items, examples being an old Chevy pickup tailgate for a bench, an arbor made from two old wooden doors and rustic, discarded windows made into coffee tables.

Brandy Steen wanted to show off a vendor who was selling an old school desk which had been brightly repainted and the desk portion was converted to a chalk board to keep kids busy.

Too late. The desk had already sold.

"There are large amounts of people selling reused items," added Zack.

Future plans for the Green Market call for the push to seek more local people with fresh produce, live plants and flowers. Vendors with 90 percent produce get to set up free of charge.

"We would love to have five to 10 of these at every market," noted Zack.

Both Steens and Ledbetter credited the success of the event to the hard work of the committee. Melissa Carson, Lisa Green and Suzanne Cooper are committee members and founders.

Other committee members include chairperson Janice Knighton and Cathy Wood, who are also museum board members.

"We've been through a lot of change," added Ledbetter. "And most of it for the good."

Produced seven times a year on the first Saturday of the month except November, the Green Market is already planning for its two huge events to close the year.

Heritage Day and Green Market will feature quilters, live demonstrations and the popular Pet Contest Costume on Oct. 5. It's an 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. market.

The RED Green Market will be staged from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 23 and applications will be available later this month.

Brandy noted the October and November markets are usually the biggest of the year.

"All of this is pretty amazing," added Zack. "And a whole lot of fun."

(To sign up for the Green Market newsletter, go to corinthgreenmarket.com. Each Friday before the event, a list of vendor offerings is e-mailed.)
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