With a variety of goods, from turquoise jewelry to handmade crepes, the Tuacahn Saturday Market is providing local vendors an opportunity to peddle their wares.
The Tuacahn Saturday Market began four years ago when Chris Graham, the Saturday Market organizer and Tuacahn Gift Gallery manager, wanted to create a market in St. George that would provide local vendors with the same opportunities she had working similar markets along the coast of California and Oregon.
Rosemary Brossard, the assistant manager of the Tuacahn Gift Gallery, said the Saturday Market helped local businesses during the beginning of the recession.
“(The Market) helped to augment their income,” Brossard said. “Four years ago we were all struggling with a depressed economy.”
During the second year of operation, the Saturday Market became a popular destination because of the popularity of Tuacahn Amphitheatre’s summer shows. Increased traffic also meant an increase in vendors who specialize in handmade goods.
“It’s an opportunity for them to network with the community (and) to try their hand at selling and making,” Brossard said.
Brossard said the Market averages 40-50 vendors each week. The organizers also provide free entertainment throughout the day, along with specialized festivals and classes to draw the families out. For instance, this year the Market hosted a Get Outdoors Family Expo, which saw 750 children come through. Brossard said many of these festivals and expos would become tradition, and community members can expect them to happen each year.
Jenny Solyom of Hurricane, who runs the J&S Shop booth selling handbags at the Market, became involved during the Market’s first year and has watched the Market improve each year.
“It’s always fun to be out here,” she said. “We’ve expanded as [the Market] has expanded.”
Solyom said her favorite part of being a part of the Market is the community the vendors have created.
“It’s a nice crowd of people,” she said. “Everybody works together. Here, as well as the county fair and Peach Days…it’s pretty much the same people. You get to know each other and it’s like a little family of vendors.”
One of Solyom’s favorite examples of the cooperation in this community happened on a windy Halloween night two years ago.
“There was one fellow who’s in a wheelchair and his stuff blew right over on top of him; he was trapped under,” she said. “Everyone was right over to help.”
Beverly Bates of Hurricane, who runs the Happy Fabrics Boutique booth, has been vending at the Market this season.
“I like the people—I get repeats,” she said. “It’s just peaceful and beautiful and happy out here.”
Brossard said the Market is meant to create an inviting environment for locals and visitors.
“It’s fun, it’s creative, it’s innovative, it’s fun for the public to come and bring their families out,” she said. “Our goal is to educate, edify and entertain and to provide kind of a Disney environment for people.”
The Tuacahn Saturday Market is every Saturday from March to December and is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. In order to get involved with the Tuacahn Saturday Market, prospective vendors can go to tuacahn.org/saturdaymarket.php, where they will find an application along with the submission information.