Downtown Hays Market set to kickoff Saturday; new online store June 1
Updated: Jun 4, 2019
By CRISTINA JANNEY Hays Post
The Downtown Hays Market is set to open Saturday, May 25 with much of your favorite produce and products.
The market will be open from 7:30 to 11 a.m. every Saturday through October in the Union Pacific Plaza Pavilion, 10th and Main, Hays.
Sara Bloom, Downtown Hays Development Corp. executive director, said the market set a record last year with almost 80 vendors and the market is hoping to exceed that this year.
“Last year was our biggest year to date for the market,” Bloom said. “We credit a lot of that to our wonderful new downtown pavilion. It has changed the whole atmosphere and feel of the event. It has really created that gathering place that we were striving for. We are excited for that to continue to play an integral part in the Downtown Hays Market and continue to see this program grow.”
About 40 percent of those vendors in 2018 were not local, but came from across the state.
“People can expect a wide variety of products at the Downtown Hays Market,” Bloom said. “A lot of people come looking for fresh produce, which we absolutely have, but I think they are surprised at the variety of vendors when they get there.
“You can purchase custom T-shirts. You can purchase leather earrings. You can purchase crocheted water balloons. We have people who are serving coffee and breakfast. We have cheesecakes, and every item you can possibly imagine can be found at the Downtown Hays Market.”
The market does not turn vendors away. There is no fee for vendors nor maximum or minimum markets in which vendors must participate. You can find more on becoming a vendor on the DHDC website.
The market again this year will have theme days, including opportunities for non-profits to interact with the public, Master Gardener events, and markets with activities for children. The Girl Scouts featured a booth with education about sex trafficking at a past market and another themed day featured photos with pets.
“We are looking for anything that will make the market stand out, make it a little bit more special and specifically make it a fun place for families to gather on any given Saturday,” Bloom said.
Coffee will be offered free again this year and will be provided by Hays business, Black Label.
Starting June 1, Downtown Hays Market will be offering an online store. Each vendor will be able to stock one item in the store, such as earrings, jam or an ornament. Customers can order online and have the product or products shipped directly to them or to someone as a gift. Gift boxes for multiple items will be available.
Customers will also be able to purchase market-branded items, such as T-shirts and bags.
“We really feel this will be a popular addition to the website,” Bloom said, “and it gives people the opportunity to give gifts to their loved ones from Kansas, from their home they love. We have a lot of visitors who come in, and they are only able to shop once and wish they could do more. Well, now they can.”
DHDC will handle shipping and handling for the online market store. The vendors will keep the proceeds from their items that are sold. For more information on this program, contact the DHDC. The online store will be a part of the new DHDC website.
DHDC will again sponsor the Bargains on the Bricks sidewalk sale. This year it will be Saturday, July 27.
Vendors do not have to be a Downtown Hays Market vendor or a downtown business to participate. Cost for a booth is $75. A reduced rate is available for market vendors. Non-profits can participate in Bargains on the Bricks free of charge.