Art fair to add another day this September
Visitors to Central Park will have all weekend to enjoy Art in the Park this September. Organizers have decided to keep the craft fair open a second day.
The event will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 19 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 20.
The schedule change is something many participants have wanted for a while, but Margo Yates, director of the city’s parks and recreation department, said she has enough help from staff, especially assistant recreation director Allison Shults, to pull it off.
“It was just too much to think about,” she said. “Now that I have some younger help — well, I think it’s OK to give it a try.”
The move will allow vendors of Hillsboro’s neighboring art fair to offer their wares at both events if they would like to, she said. She said she has had some vendors express interest in doing this.
“They could come over here on Sunday,” she said. “That should open up some possibilities.”
Yates said she is broadening the fair’s offerings this year with an area devoted to home-based businesses like Scentsy, Tupperware and The Pampered Chef. She said there weren’t as many old-fashioned crafters plying their trade these days, so organizers were looking to expand in other ways.
Several new vendors have already expressed interest in the fair.
“I think we will probably have quite a few new things to see,” she said.
Yates also said she wants to make sure the crowd is well-fed this year, so she is planning to open the event up to even more out-of-town food vendors, who have wares unlike those served in Marion’s restaurants.
She said she still wants to include local offerings, but she intends for visitors to have plenty of choices available.
“If we are going two days, we have to have enough food,” she said. “We can’t have people shut down at 2 p.m. when vendors want to eat at 5 p.m.”
She said she is thankful for Marion boy scouts’ early commitment to camp out and patrol the park both days.
“That is a big help right there,” she said.
Yates said she still has many decisions that need to be made before September — but she is looking forward to giving visitors one more day to browse and, hopefully, buy.
“I know we will have changes next year,” she said. “We will learn things, make a few more changes and keep getting better every year.”
Margo Yates's name was misstated in an earlier version of this story. Also, in print, the first line of the story was obscured because of a problem with a printing press.
Last modified Jan. 9, 2020