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Marion’s Art in the Park to see an increase in vendors

Staff writer

Art in the Park is shaping up to be an even bigger event than last year.

About 130 vendors will set up shop in the park Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., up from 100 or so last year.

“It should be a really good show this year because we have a lot of new, cool stuff coming and the weather looks like it’s going to be great,” parks and recreation director Margo Yates said.

She said she is excited to have new and returning vendors, including The Zipper Pouch People of Iowa Falls, Iowa; Vintage Linen Clothing of Magnolia, Arkansas; Wolves Pride Crafts of Canton; Tin Shed of Clay Center; and TreeMendous Treasures of Winfield.

“There’s something down there for everybody this year I think,” Yates said. “It’s going to be a good show.”

A shuttle bus to the park runs for 12 hours from the baseball complex on the northeast side of town and Marion Die and Fixture on west Main St.

Food options feature bierocks from Marion High School Boosters, Wagon Wheel Express, barbecue from Carlsons’ BBQ, grilled food from Marion Fire Department, shaved ice from J’s Tropical Sno, and ice cream from Marion Historical Museum.

“The smell of the grill will bring the people in the park,” Yates said.

All food options are local, which is intended to help fundraisers.

“I always encourage local people, even if the husband isn’t interested in shopping, come down and support the local groups and businesses in the food court and have lunch,” Yates said.

She said the show has struggled to attract younger attendees.

“Over the years, as older people dropped out of doing it, there’s not the same amount of younger people that are starting to do it,” Yates said.

The aren’t estimates on how many people the event draws to the city.

“There’s really no way of knowing for sure,” Yates said. “People are constantly coming in the park. You’ll see these waves of traffic from Hillsboro. It’s kind of weird, it’s like ‘OK, here comes a wave.’ It’s busy all day.”

Yates said a lot of people at first did not like the idea of holding the show on the same day as Hillsboro’s.

“People realize that it’s actually good for both of us,” Yates said, “because it gives people twice the reason to make the drive. We get shoppers from out of state and several hours away, and I’m not sure we get that if they didn’t have two places to go to within eight miles.”

“It’s a good thing,” she said. “We help each other. We don’t compete.”

Last modified Sept. 14, 2017

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