Kids’ Day at the Farmers’ Market: the next generation of vendors

By Ben Olson
Reader Staff

Each month, the Sandpoint Farmers’ Market hosts a special event. In the past couple of months, that has included a customer appreciation day and an anniversary party. This weekend, the Market is all about the kids.

Kids frolic around the town fountain at Jeff Jones Town Square during a Kids’ Day in the past. Courtesy photo.

Kids’ Day is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. More than two dozen young vendors will set up their own booths and sell their products alongside the regular vendors.

Market Manager Kelli Burt said it’s a great way to introduce the next generation to the idea of marketing their wares in their own space.

“It’s really uplifting to see these young kids, from 6 years old to 16 being so proud of things they’ve created,” Burt said. “For them to have taken a lot of time and effort in making these creations shows a lot of forethought from them.”

Burt said offering young people a chance to sell their own products helps establish responsibility and unique lines of thought for how to make a living in tomorrow’s world.

“We’re waiving any kind of fees for the day, but it’s important for them to track their money and make change, and they have to pay the 1% tax to the city of Sandpoint,” Burt said. “It’s getting them excited about thinking outside the box, not just following the traditional line of how to make a living. A lot of these kids say, ‘I want to do something that hasn’t been done before,’ or, ‘How can I do that but a little bit different?’ They’re thinking full spectrum about how to create something unique and valuable. It’s been amazing to witness.”

According to Burt, the process also teaches kids how to market their products and how to follow instructions.

“They have to complete an application, take photos of their product and plan to have enough product on hand,” Burt said. “It’s really great to see so much pride in their workmanship.”

Kids’ Day at the Market in 2018 attracted 20 youth vendors, but this year’s participants already number more than 30, with more expected to sign up before the deadline.

Along with kid vendors, the Saturday market will feature live music by the Coeur d’Alene Youth Marimba, a high energy group of talented young musicians. Also, the Sandpoint Bollywood dancers will give a live performance at intermission and the Duckman will be roaming the grounds with Andora the Purple Woman.

Kid vendors will offer a wide variety of wares, including farm-raised products, homegrown flower bouquets, fire-starter kits repurposed from sawdust, blankets, pillows, birdhouses, driftwood art, metal art and hand-drawn coloring books, to name a few. All kid vendors will be set up near the fountain at Jeff Jones Town Square.

“It’s going to be an action-packed day at the Market,” Burt said.

Next month’s special event is the Taste of the Market, featuring local chefs setting up and instructing market-goers how to prepare unusual vegetables, which includes free samples. The Taste of the Market will take place Saturday, Sept. 14.

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