Keeping It Local: Opening Weekend for the Downtown Hays Market

BY CALLY ANDERSON

Saturday kicked off the annual 22 weekend-long Downtown Hays Market. From May 28 through October 22nd, each Saturday the Downtown Hays Pavilion will be full of local and fresh goods from vendors. These vendors offer local meats, fresh produce, homemade goods, jewelry, and other services. 

Sponsored by the Downtown Hays Development Corp. (DHDC), this event is a completely outdoor market that supports local businesses and brought in hundreds of visitors to the opening weekend. 

One local business, Catatonic Alchemy, has begun its journey as a new vendor this year. Based out of Hays, owner Jessi Jacobs loves the community’s support of local businesses.

“I like it because it brings people downtown and they can see what we have to offer in the area,” Jacobs said.

Because Jacobs works for the city and has seen the impact the market has, she decided to sell locally. As a vendor, her business creates scents in the form of freshies. 

“It always has had a great turnout and I want to keep it local,” Jacobs said. 

This market is unique because approved vendors accept tokens from SNAP, the Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program to be used to purchase fresh produce and meat. On top of the SNAP program, several vendors offer DUFB,  Double Up Food Books, that match the SNAP tokens spent allowing those who qualify to get additional fruits and vegetables at the qualifying vendors. 

Thanks to the Downtown Market, a sense of community and support for homegrown goods has created an ever-evolving place for those to gather. Vendors choose what Saturdays they go, so the market changes throughout the seasons. 

The next Downtown Hays Market will be 7:30 – 11:00 a.m. on Saturday at the Downtown Pavilion at 10th and Main Street. The list of the expected vendors for each Saturday can be found on the Downtown Hays Market Facebook page where it is posted prior to each market.


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