Manawa area vendors from 4-7 p.m. Tuesday nights at Triangle Park, and take in a part of the small town charm.
Brenda Vander Zanden had enjoyed the Saturday Triangle Market Place in the past and called Manawa City Hall to see when the season would open this year.
“I called city hall in April,” she said. “I was informed that it might not happen for several reasons this year.”
“So I attended the Downtown Revitalization Group meeting to champion the cause and ended up leading the effort,” she said.
Seeing that a weekday model was working in other communities, it was agreed to move the event to Tuesdays.
“The committee agreed to move it to Tuesday so not to conflict with the larger markets in the valley, festivals, weddings, graduations and all the events we cram into our summer weekends,” said Vander Zanden.
Sponsored by Manawa Downtown Revitalization Group, this is an opportunity for area retailers, home-based businesses, product representatives, churches, non-profits, crafters, services groups and clubs to set up a booth each week for a fee of $5.
“Small business owners often don’t have affordable opportunities to present their products or services,” said Vander Zanden. “Seasonal farmers and downtown markets exist in nearly every town and provide business owners, small and large alike, an opportunity to meet their clients in a more casual, relaxed, personal atmosphere.”
“The Triangle is located in the heart of Manawa and is the beautiful centerpiece of our town,” she said. “So far, our vendor and community numbers are growing every week.”
From egg rolls and popcorn, to essential oils and garden art, Tuesday’s marketplace has a little bit of everything.
Jeanne Gehrke, Manawa, who operates an essential oils business, is one of the vendors currently participating in the Tuesday night event.
“I have classes in town and thought this would be a great way to promote my products,” said Gehrke. “It also gives me the opportunity to get to know some other people in town.”
“It’s close to home and is an inexpensive way to get involved in the community,” said Liza Steinmetz, Iola.
Steinmetz, along with her 11-year-old grandson Trenton O’Neil, were selling baked goods.
“I just like spending time with my grandma,” said O’Neil.
Tracy Williams, Waupaca, was selling soy candles.
“It gives me something to do during the week and is a great outlet,” said Williams. “I like meeting all the people.”
“Our hope is that some of the downtown businesses will stay open later on Tuesday nights,” said Vander Zanden. “With the Tuesday Triangle Marketplace going on, it will hopefully draw in more business for them as well.”
“We get more vendors each week,” she said. “Our vision is to have the Triangle full by the end of the summer with vendors of all types, music in the bandstand, the grass full of people and families enjoying a beautiful afternoon/evening sampling all the goodies available.”
“We have to fight to keep our small towns alive,” Vander Zanden said. “That is what this is all about.”
“The long-term goal is to strengthen the Manawa economy. To keep dollars in the community when possible, and then re-invest those dollars back into Manawa,” said Vander Zanden. “It’s really Manawa investing in Manawa, which is crucial. Every small town must continually invest and re-invest in itself.”
“The best of who we are is found in small towns across America, like Manawa” she said. “Neighbors looking out for each other, annual festivals that involve the entire community, church suppers and picnics, school games and fundraisers. The financial health and well-being of Manawa is everyone’s responsibility – no one is exempt.”