BETHANY, W.Va. — Beginning July 31, residents of Bethany and surrounding communities will be able to buy and sell local foods and goods through Bethany’s new Open Air Country Market. As part of the “Buy Fresh, Buy Local” effort to increase the availability of fresh, affordable foods, the market is the first of its kind in the area. In addition to promoting healthy eating, such markets are known for strengthening local economies and tourism.
“Residents in this part of the state have to drive at least 15 miles before they have access to a combined farmer/flea market of this type,” said Amy VanHorn, a member of the Bethany Open Air Country Market Committee. “We’re hoping to bring the community together and allow residents to display and sell their high-quality produce and crafts while giving them access to a healthier way of living.”
“The Country Market idea represents an innovative way for a small town like Bethany to make the most of its resources, provide a valuable service to the community, and bring visitors to the town. The Social Work program is proud to be an active participant in this venture,” said Kathy Furbee, Director of the Bethany College Social Work Program.
“Without the support of Bethany College, the Brooke County Health Department, local organizations and communities, this would not be feasible. I would especially like to thank the Town of Bethany, Mountain State Blue Cross Blue Shield and Ohio Valley Septic for being our financial supporters,” said M. E. Yancosek Gamble, Renner Scholar in the Bethany College Department of Communications and Media Arts.
A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held on July 31 at 11 a.m., when Bethany Mayor Jay Eisenhauer and other local officials will celebrate the opening of the market. In addition to local farmers, backyard gardeners and food vendors, vendors selling unique handmade crafts and fresh-cut flowers and plants, as well as recycled products, estate sale items and antiques are highly encouraged to attend.
“We’d like to make the market as diverse of an event as possible,” stated Danielle Radcliffe, a member of the Country Market Committee. “Our market is different because vendors aren’t limited to just selling baked goods or produce. We’re looking for everything that makes this area of the state unique.” All crops and crafts must have been grown or made within a 25-mile radius of Bethany.
The market will be held the last Saturday of every month starting in July from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Ross Street in Bethany. For the first year, vendor fees are $5 per weekend. Anyone interested in selling at the market should contact Danielle Radcliffe by calling (304) 829-7980 or by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Bethany College is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Founded in 1840, Bethany is the state’s oldest private college.