Shoppers line up at Pennsylvania Dutch Farmers Market, despite heavy rain Customers pleased by diversity, quality

October 11, 1992|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Staff Writer

The weather was more suited to ducks than people.

But, despite heavy downpours Friday, Carroll Countians flocked to the new Pennsylvania Dutch Farmer's Market in Westminster to see what it was all about.

"This type of thing really interests me," said Bob McCullen of Gamber.

"It's kind of Old World and a bit casual. The people are that way too, and that's what I like.

"More than likely, I'll end up buying something."

Other countians had the same idea as they wandered past stalls full of meats, cheeses, crafts and jewelry.

Lines of Amish and "English" formed halfway down the aisles of the former grocery store as other shoppers pushed carts full of goods through the crowd.

"We've been waiting for it to open, to get fresh items and support the local economy," said Leslie Brooks of Westminster.

"I think it's just what is needed and will draw a lot of people to Westminster."

Merchants were also pleasantly surprised at how the market turned out.

"I had no idea what to expect," said Karen Shaw, who was selling cut flowers from Taneytown's The Cutting Garden.

"This is not a normal farmer's market like Carroll County is accustomed to. The customers have been amazed at the diversity and quality of items."

Other shop owners said they didn't expect to sell so many items on the first day.

"I was actually surprised at the number of people we've had," said Tim Lawson, co-owner of the Eagle Claw Biker Boutique.

"After our first customer, it just blossomed. You would expect, on the first day, that most people would just be onlookers."

Standing among his Harley-Davidson memorabilia and the logo proudly crafted by his daughter, Mr. Lawson drew a sharp contrast to the handworked crafts of his fellow vendors.

But each was attracting an equal portion of the crowd.

"A friend of mine said I could make a comfortable living off of this," Mr. Lawson said.

"At first, I didn't believe him. But if every day is like this, I'll be fine."

Still others were hoping to drum up business for their daily jobs.

Shelia Bell, alias Clair the Clown, painted faces and sold balloons all day to publicize her entertainment business, "Balloon Magic." She specializes in birthday parties and balloon decorations.

"I bought the company a year ago . . . and I'm trying to build up the business," she said.

"I'd like the people of Carroll County to see that there are other ways to decorate."

Kristy Jones said she also saw the market as a way to get started in business.

She and her sister refinish furniture and resell antiques as "Mended Memories" in Finksburg.

"My sister and I want to open a store one day and we thought this would be the perfect place to sell," she said.

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