Lumina News file photo
Wrightsville Beach Farmers’ Market manager Angela Cannon reports that the vast majority of vendors prefer the 2013 season’s location adjacent to town hall.
All but one of the Wrightsville Beach Farmers’ Market vendors preferred this season’s new location in the grassy area adjacent to town hall.
The market moved across the street from Old Causeway Drive, where a sign was displayed to direct attendees to the new venue.
During the Wrightsville Beach Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee meeting on Monday, Sept. 9, market manager Angela Cannon, who has managed the market for three years, said she surveyed the vendors to get feedback about the season and the new location.
“The only negative comment was that we need more signage, advertising,” Cannon said. “… They felt that we were not as visible in this location.”
But she explained to vendors that town ordinances do not allow for additional signage.
One woman made an informal complaint about not having a solid surface for rolling her wheelchair, saying she was concerned about bumping over something in the grassy location. She did not attempt to go into the market area, but Cannon offered her a beach wheelchair provided by the town, among other suggestions.
There were several locals who had not visited the market before and regularly travel down Salisbury Street who came by for the first time this year, Cannon said.
The first five days of the market were rainy, keeping customers away. The rain also affected some of the smaller farmers, who had to drop out early in the season because they lost produce.
Vendors also liked the horseshoe layout with an open area for children to play, and first come, first serve space assignments.
Two vendors on the wait list did not make it into this season’s market, including a rain barrel vendor and a jewelry vendor.
Katie Ryan, parks and recreation program supervisor, said they might try to establish earlier dates for people applying in 2014.
Vice chairwoman Charlotte Murchison updated committee members about the potential dog park locations discussed during the August meeting.
She explained the county-owned beach area on the north end is not in the “realm of possibility,” because of the 30-year federal permit from the Masons Inlet relocation.
Before the next meeting, members are going to stop by other dog parks to observe space and set up requirements. During the October meeting, they will then look at the grassy space in the town’s municipal complex to decide if they want to pursue a dog park further and make a recommendation to the Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen.
Members also talked about applying for a Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grant that could be used to fund projects, like a dog park, skate park or used for the tennis courts. The grant requires a 50/50 match for projects. In 2010, the town received a little more than $111,000 and used another matching $111,000 from bond money to build a new Wrightsville Beach Park event stage, basketball court and improvements to tennis courts and the parking lot.