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Plans shape up for local market

by Carol Dunn

LA VETA- A handful of La Veta artisans plans to sponsor a biweekly local market for locally produced arts, crafts and produce.  The idea is to spotlight local products on a regular basis, rather than just over the holidays or during special festivals.  As one of the organizers, Maggie Watson, explains, “When we do get together, it’s fun and it’s a sense of community.”  When they approached the La Veta Town Board about renting the Community Center for the event, Watson and the other two organizers, Kit Pogue and Sharon Ratajczak, expressed the goal of bringing the community closer together.  Watson feels that this market will be an opportunity for people in the community to get to know each other, build friendships and celebrate local talent. 

    “There are so many talented people in this area,” Ratajczak says.  “There are many things we can do to help each other.”  Watson adds, “Here in this community, and especially in this economy, we need to support our local vendors.” 

    The first market event will be held on February 14, Valentine’s Day, at the La Veta Community Center.  The artisans are optimistic that others will find inspiration in this art and folk craft market.  “It’s been wonderful to meet different people,” Watson explains.  “Everybody’s got something good to share.”  There will also be a swap meet at the first market for snow sports equipment.

    The organizers are offering table rental to vendors for $5.  A meeting will be held for interested vendors on Monday, February 2 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the La Veta Community Center. 

    Up to thirty vendors could participate in a regular market.  Some of the anticipated products include : pen and ink artwork, natural soap, one-of-a-kind jewelry, baked goods, fudge, locally-roasted coffee, hand knitted items, pottery, photography, wool yarn, felted items, 1940-style cardigans, woodworking, art glass, sculpture, and fruits and vegetables in season.  “If they have a product, they can market it,” Watson says of vendors.  There are also plans to involve local musicians in the market.  Eventually the organizers would like to find a location to sponsor classes on simple cooking techniques, bread baking, canning and preserving, and the kinds of things that used to be taught in school Home-Ec classes.

    If the local market is successful and there is momentum behind supporting local artisans, it may spawn a co-op that could set up a more permanent residence somewhere in La Veta.  “We are a tourist town,” Watson says, “and it would be nice for tourists to see more gifts of local handmade items.”

    For more information, call Maggie Watson at (719)742-6310.