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Open Air Market On The Horizon
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Determined to play on the strengths of what is a revitalized Main Street business district, a new Main Street Association has been formed in Escalon. The group, spearheaded by Leonardo's Café owner Mike Weimer, has just completed its incorporation and is in the process of developing by-laws. One of the group's first endeavors is to plan a series of Friday night 'Open Air Markets' for the community, the first Friday of each month starting in August.

"We're really excited that all the storefronts are now full," Weimer said of having a packed house on the block of Main Street situated across from the Main Street Park.

With the open air markets, Weimer said the idea is to bring residents downtown, to take advantage of shopping, get some education as to what businesses are available locally, and enjoy an evening out. Along with seeking vendors for the market, each Friday night will also include a free family film, shown in Main Street Park near the stage.

The Friday, Aug. 7 inaugural Open Air Market night will feature 'School of Rock' starting Jack Black. The market will run from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., with the movie starting at 7 p.m.

"We are looking for vendors," Weimer added.

Being sought are local merchants and artisans, with everything from fresh produce to artwork and crafts wanted for the market. Those interested in learning more about having a booth at the Friday night events can visit the association's new website, for more information. Weimer can also be reached at Leonardo's between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., 838-8995.

"We want everyone to discover everything we have on Main Street, from insurance to Bedazzled to Main Street Music, we're trying to get people to notice you can shop local," Weimer said.

Plans are to host the once a month market through December, weather permitting. A film will be offered at each market, along with the merchant booths. Weimer said Main Street shops are also being encouraged to stay open later, to host visitors to the market those Friday evenings.

He also noted that the Main Street Association plans to work cooperatively with other groups including the Chamber of Commerce, the local community service clubs and more to promote Escalon.

"The park is a perfect venue," Weimer said of putting on events in the Main Street location, which now features the 'Main Street Park' arch as a welcome sign into the park. "We just want to have some family friendly events."