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Old Town Market has been a hit this season

Farm-fresh eggs, grass-fed beef, apple butter, flowers and jewelry have become common sights in downtown Rock Hill.

The Old Town market opened for its 2011 season on May 5, and since then market manager Chrys Tuttle said it's been going very well.

"Every week, we seem to be growing," she said. "We're always hearing from a new vendor or people who are interested on a regular basis."

The Wednesday and Saturday markets see about five vendors, who are typically farmers with fresh produce, such as Roy Clinton with Cotton Hills Farm out of Lowrys.

Thursday nights are the week's largest with at least 20 vendors, musical entertainment and children's activities, Tuttle said.

Thursday night vendors can include anything from farmers with fresh local produce to farm products like hot sauces and apple cider vinegar to crafters such as StrangeLittleGirl Jewelry and Baskets & More.

Vendor Julie Schrader brings her jewelry out each Thursday night.

"I love making stuff," she said. "I had to find a way to get rid of what I make, because I make so much."

Schrader has participated in the markets in the past.

"A lot of people want to buy locally," she said. "We're happy to step in and fill that void."

Chantelle Moore makes patterned electronics cases, aprons and other crafts. The market has become more like a hangout for her and her friends, she said.

"People really like it," she said. "The only problem is a lot of people don't know it's here."

Both said they've had a great response while participating in the markets.

Several vendors were new to the market this year, such as PuckerButt Pepper Company and Watson Farms.

Watson Farms, based in Lowrys, sells grass-fed beef. They do not feed their cattle grain, meaning the beef is actually leaner and has less fatty acid, said Matt Watson.

He sells everything from ground beef to ribeye steaks.

"It's another outlet to get product out," he said. "The response has been really good. We've been very satisfied with it."

The appeal of the market, Tuttle said, is the fact that people can talk to the people who actually grow their food and find out how they grew it.

"We hope the market will continue to grow and expand," Tuttle said. "It's not what you'd find in a grocery store."

The Old Town Market will run through Sept. 29.

Several vendors do accept WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program Vouchers.

Upcoming market events

Thursday

Musical entertainment from The Oneppo Brothers.

Kids' activities, including bunnies and mini-horse petting and a "Make a Veggie Head" craft.

July 28

Musical entertainment from Maplewood Bluegrass Band.

Kids' activities, including an appearance from Pickles Da Clown, who will make balloon animals, and a "Make a Garden or Farm-Themed Photo Frame" craft.

Want to go?

When: 8 to 11 a.m. Wednesdays; 5 to 8 p.m. Thursdays; 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays.

Where: 118 Caldwell St., behind the Gettys Center at Caldwell and East Main streets.

For information: Visit www.onlyinoldtown.com/market.

VIDEO: A quick look at the market

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