Thursday, 01 September 2011 by Administrator
After only 3 years of officially posting up in downtown Belton, Market Days has made a significant impact for both vendors and Beltonians who are looking to buy and sell local treasures and treats.
The city has a rich history of trading and selling in the city square, going back to the late 1800's, but the Downtown Belton Merchant's Association decided that setting up an official monthly event would help bring more shoppers to downtown Belton and provide family-friendly entertainment each third Saturday of the month.
DBMA Director Sandy Bigham says both the city and vendors have benefited from the increased traffic in downtown Belton.
"Our goal was to make people aware of the treasures available in our shops and thus increase our revenue, as well as, to show off our special town," she said, "I feel that the DBMA has played a big part in the revitalization of the downtown area."
The non-profit organization is run by volunteers who are dedicated to making the experience a fun one for sellers and buyers alike. Workers begin working before sunrise and sometimes well after sunset before they're able to rest.
"We start working at 5 a.m. on Market Days and usually end the day around 6 p.m. unless there is a street dance... (it's) a long, but worthwhile day," said Bigham.
Those street dances are held twice a year, in May and October, and are free to the public.
Bigham couldn't provide accurate estimates on how much the event contributed to the Belton economy, but noted that many vendors stay overnight in local hotels and dine at Belton restaurants after the day is through, helping fuel growth in the city.
Belton city manager Sam Listi says the event helps bring personality to dowtown Belton.
"We have been doing it for two plus years and it is a very positive draw," he said, "Every opportunity that we have to establish Belton as a destination is one of our goals. It encourages downtown Belton as an activity center."
Bigham says attendance has grown Market Days' 2008 beginning, and come rain or shine, Market Days will continue to be a monthly event in a flourishing downtown Belton.
"Market Days has been a great way to bring out-of-town visitors to Belton and each month I encourage these visitors to "see" Belton and all that we has to offer before they leave town," she said, "A lot of work has gone into Market Day. We have worked in freezing cold and "Texas" heat, as well as, rain, but the satisfaction of a job well done at the end of the day always brings us back the next month."
Anyone interested in becoming a vendor during Belton Market Days can visit http://www.downtownbelton.com/.