A “vintage market” will be coming to the Winamac Town Park this spring, but whether that would pave the way for other types of vendors was a topic of discussion during last week’s park board meeting.
Board members approved a proposal to hold a “Vintage, Handmade Antique Pop Up Market” on June 2 and 3. The event would feature up to 20 vendors in and around the Park Pavilion, selling unique and handmade items, according to the event proposal. Organizer Sherry Fagner said the pop-up market would not only showcase the park and pavilion, but would also promote local retailers.
Board members all voiced their support for the event, but Brad Zellers had a few concerns. For one thing, he wasn’t sure whether park shelters could technically be subleased, under park rules. “I don’t know how they would pay for it, I guess,” he said. “Is it an organization? Is it just people signing up doing this with her? And if that’s the case, that would be subleasing. I don’t know if we can do that. I don’t know if it’s written anywhere or not.”
But beyond that, Zellers also wondered if allowing the event could set a precedent for anyone wanting to sell stuff in the park. “An event like that’s fine,” he said. “I hate to see somebody starting one every weekend and our park’s a garage sale. I’m not saying that that’s going to happen, by any means, but we also need to be careful because that’s not what necessarily the park’s for.”
Town Attorney Justin Schramm warned against picking and choosing vendors based on their perceived desirability, “You can start getting into a little bit of trouble when you start saying, ‘Well, we don’t like these items down here because it’s garage sale-esque.'” He suggested that in the future, the park board may consider designating a certain number of vendor areas and time slots, which would be available on a first-come, first-served basis.