A new monthly event got off to a rousing start Friday as Orange Trade Days opened for business.
Located at 200 Turrett St. in Orange, just off Simmons Drive, Orange Trade Days opened to a standing line of patrons and packed parking lot Friday morning as hundreds turned out to check out the area’s newest venture.
Orange Trade Days is open on the weekend following the second Monday of each month and resumes from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., today and Sunday.
Owner Bill Snyder said Friday’s opening was well received by the public and the vendors and expects better things in the future.
“The parking lot was completely full (Friday) morning and we had people waiting in line for us to open at 9 a.m.,” Snyder said. “It makes me proud that so many people said how pleased they were with how things turned out on our first day. The customers seemed pleased and so did many of the vendors.”
Orange Trade Days offers patrons an array of shopping opportunities. Items offered for purchase by vendors include purses, belts, jewelry, clothing for men, women and children, toys, hand-crafted wood items, paintings, photography and much more.
Also part of the Friday’s debut was the Farmers Market, which was attended by several vendors offering a large variety of produce and other wares.
“The Farmers Market was very popular with our crowd,” Snyder added. “They all sold out of produce very quickly. Many of them said they plan on coming back next month.”
Snyder said not all vendors were in attendance on Friday. Along with a few last minute cancellations, some were unable to attend because of weekday work obligations. However, additional vendors were set to arrive either late Friday or early this morning in time for today’s 9 a.m. opening.
The complex is not “100 percent ready to go,” according to Snyder, but it will be a steady work in progress.
“I’m definitely listening to my vendors and to the public,” Snyder continued. “Safety and accessibility is what everyone seems concerned about, and that is what we care about. We are doing our best to provide a safe environment for the public, and to provide accessibility for everyone, including people who may be handicapped.”
Snyder said the City of Orange has been a big help to date, as have many other individuals and organizations. He believes Orange Trade Days could provide a much needed boost to the Orange area economy.
Jeanine Mankins, owner of the Orange home-based business The Summer Land, was one of the many vendors attending the opening weekend event.
“The first day turned out much better than I expected,” Mankins said. “It was so crowded (Friday) morning. I made more money here than I ever have at Art in the Park, and I’ve attended that event every year since it has started. And I don’t mean that as a shot at Art in the Park either.”
Mankins, who offers patrons a variety of items such as herbal teas, gemstone jewelry, scent pillows and much more, expects the remainder of the weekend to surpass the opening day of Orange Trade Days.
“I’m so excited about this, and I know many other people are too,” she said. “The economy in Orange hasn’t been so great lately, and Orange Trade Days will go a long way in helping revitalize Orange. Plus, the opening of Orange Trade Days in this part of the city is a big plus since there is talk of rebuilding the downtown area.”
Visit www.orangetradedays.com for more information about the monthly event.
Tommy Mann Jr. is a reporter for The Orange Leader. He can be reached at 409-883-3571, Ext. 2619 or firstname.lastname@example.org