Marketplace finds new site
The Indian Creek Marketplace, which debuted last summer, will return this year in a new location, with new hours, that is expected to help boost downtown Corydon.
‘The first year worked very well, but we knew there’d be things we’d want to change,’ said Tracy Webber, a member of the Development Downtown Corydon leadership team who helped start the marketplace.
Last year, the marketplace was set up for 11 Saturdays, from Aug. 18 through Oct. 27, in the old Keller Manufacturing Co. parking lot near the north bridge in Corydon.
‘The Keller property was fantastic … but we didn’t feel like (visitors) were going downtown,’ Webber said.
Helping promote downtown Corydon businesses is one of the main goals of Develop Downtown Corydon.
This year, the marketplace will be set up in the Town of Corydon municipal parking lot on the south side of Chestnut Street between Walnut and Mulberry streets in downtown. The hours will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays beginning May 11 through Sept. 28.
Webber said the owner of the Laundromat, which fronts Poplar Street, gave the DDC permission to use its parking lot, as well as its rest room, for the marketplace. She said the new site will allow for at least 50 vendors (the old site had space for 44). Booth space will be $20 for one Saturday or $120 for all 21 weeks.
Main Street Corydon again this year will provide the necessary insurance for the marketplace.
One thing that organizers say was lacking last year was food vendors. There are plans to resolve that, thanks to the Corydon Moose Lodge, which has agreed to cook food each Saturday of the marketplace. Opening day will feature pancakes. (Anyone recall the Pancake Festival from days gone by?) Limeberry Lumber has agreed to provide four picnic tables.
The leadership team (other members this year besides Webber are Terri Weaver, Diane Cooper and Ann Windell) met with potential vendors for this year’s marketplace to reach a decision about the hours. (Last year, the marketplace was open from 1 to 6 p.m.)
‘They chose 10 to 4,’ Webber said. ‘They wanted to be able to get the people who like to get out early.’
The DDC also hope to attract more produce vendors, although it is not in competition with the Harrison County Farmers Market, which has its own set of bylaws it has to abide by.
‘We really wanted to work with them, not take away from their business,’ Webber said. ‘Please, don’t stop going to their market.’
Weaver said Farmers Market vendors have to provide their own insurance and products have to be from Harrison County.
‘Because of the town’s history, we thought it was a natural to add antiques and collectibles,’ she said. ‘It creates a weekly community event. We saw that last year, people who came back week after week. Even if they didn’t buy anything, they were meeting their neighbors.’
The DDC is seeking persons who are interested in providing entertainment, anything from face painting to bubble making, that will attract people of all ages.
‘The sky’s the limit,’ Webber said. ‘We want to encourage people to come and stay. Some people just like to people watch.’
The DDC will have a booth at the marketplace that will provide information that promotes the downtown. Businesses are being encouraged to provide fliers/brochures about anything that is taking place downtown.
Mike Kopp, a REALTOR who was instrumental in the revitalization of downtown New Albany, said business owners/managers need to learn to communicate better with each other and visitors to their shops about what else is available.
He said it took about three years for the New Albany Marketplace to increase from 17 vendors to 65.
Kopp is working to bring other eateries into downtown Corydon. His target is to have five more this year, ‘not to cannibalize the other businesses, but to have other varieties,’ he said.
Another idea the group hopes to implement this year is an Artisan Trail, placing area artists in shops, thus showcasing the artist while attracting potential shoppers.
‘We want to direct people to the Artisan Center (which is just west of the new marketplace site) but it has limited hours,’ Weaver said, adding that there are plenty of artists who could be showcased in businesses.
Any business owner interested in hosting an artist is encouraged to contact Webber.
The Develop Downtown Corydon group, which is open to anyone, meets the third Tuesday of each month at 6:15 p.m. at the Corydon Jamboree.
The group shares concerns as well as dates and details about upcoming events, such as the revitalization of the Easter Egg Hunt on the downtown square (details will be published as the event draws closer).
Another example, at this month’s meeting, Weaver, who owns So Dear 2 My Heart in Corydon, said she kept track of the number of visitors to her shop who asked why other downtown shops are closed on Mondays. For Feb. 4, 11 people asked that question; nine asked the following Monday; and 14 inquired the next week.
Kopp said the DDC collected information in 14 areas last year.
‘Two of the biggest complaints were parking and businesses being closed,’ he said.
‘We want to get business owners to work together,’ Weaver said. ‘Not everybody’s in competition.’
Additional information about the marketplace is available on Facebook at www.facebook.com/IndianCreekMarketplace?ref=ts&fref=ts. To learn more about Develop Downtown Corydon, visit its Facebook page. Or, visit Weaver at her shop, located at the corner of East Beaver Street and Capitol Avenue or call 738-2762. Webber can be called at 267-0430.