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First Open Air Market On Friday
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Be sure to stop by Main Street, Escalon, on Friday night for the first of the planned 'Open Air Market' nights, slated from5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Offered the first Friday of the month, the market is being sponsored by the Escalon Main Street Association with the inaugural event on Friday, Aug. 7.

Coordinating the event is Mike Weimer of the Main Street Association, working in conjunction with local merchants. The idea is to bring the community to the downtown area for an evening of shopping, both at the vendor booths set up in the Main Street Park for the market and at the shops on Main, the majority of which will stay open during the market hours.

Weimer, owner of Leonardo's Café at Main and Second, said Association members wanted to offer a family-friendly event and will provide a movie after the close of the market at 7 p.m.

This month's movie is School of Rock featuring Jack Black.

All the pieces are falling in to place for a successful first Friday, said Weimer.

"We have quite a few vendors so far, everything from jewelry to crystals and gifts, clothing and handmade items, artwork, some service booths," he explained. "We'll have a final list on Wednesday."

The historic caboose adjacent to the Main Street Park will be open for tours and the Escalon Historical Society Museum will also keep its doors open during the market for visitors to stop by.

Vendors interested in participating should apply for a business license through the City of Escalon, indicating they want one specifically for the market. Booth space is offered at a cost of $10 per night and the business license fee for the market is also $10. Weimer said vendor applications for the once-a-month market will be accepted throughout the course of the event. Booth set up will be between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. Friday, with the market opening at 5 p.m.

Officials also hope to draw some local growers, to bring in fresh fruits and vegetables in addition to the vendor merchandise and crafts.

Upcoming Open Air Markets will be offered on Friday, Sept. 4; Friday, Oct. 2 and Friday, Nov. 6 with the Main Street Association also looking to work cooperatively with the Escalon Chamber of Commerce to participate in the December 'Christmas on Main' event to close out the open air market season.

Weimer said he's excited about the possibility for the Friday night markets, hoping to bring a crowd to the downtown area to see what is there, including the new businesses have come in to fill up the storefronts along Main Street.

"We just want to offer a little family night fun and movie for free," Weimer added. "There's been a big response to it."