Market Days gets under way with food, fun

  • Audience members including Cathy Schlottmann (back row) of Dunbarton learn to dance by watching (left to right) 8-year-old Nicky Castro, Courtney Castro, Sveta Gerace and others from the New Hampshire School of Scottish Arts during the Market Days Festival on Thursday. ELIZABETH FRANTZ photos / Monitor staff

  • A bird’s-eye view of Intown Concord’s Market Days Festival is seen from the top of the Charter Trust Building on Thursday. ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff

  • Kid Pinky, including musicians Tom Wright (left) and Warren Mannell, kicked off Thursday’s performances on the Tandy’s Eagle Square Stage during Market Days. ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff

  • Brody Ricci (left), 7, gets a flying lesson from Steve Arndt from the cockpit of the Silent 2, a self-launching racing sail plane.

  • People walk along N. Main Street during opening day of Intown Concord’s Market Days Festival, Thursday, June 23, 2016. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

  • A bird's-eye view of Intown Concord’s Market Days Festival is seen from the top of the Charter Trust Building on Thursday, June 23, 2016. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

Monitor staff
Published: 6/24/2016 2:49:41 AM

Like thousands of other Concord-area residents, Brian Farmer comes out for the Market Days Festival every year.
He does it for the die-hard buffalo junkies.

Farmer, the owner of Yankee Farmer’s Market in Warner, brings his trailer – decorated to look like a horse-drawn carriage, complete with a grill and sink – and parks it on Main Street, close to the State House. His regulars know where to find him. They come in packs for buffalo burgers, sausages and cheesesteaks – all fresh meats from the farm.

“You can see them making a beeline right to here,” he said. “But the week also acts as advertising for the farm. People will seek us out here, then realize we offer our products all year round.”

The 42nd annual Market Days, Intown Concord’s annual street festival, got off to a big start Thursday. About 180 vendors lined Main Street, selling a variety of products – crafts and clothes, fresh lemonade and fried Oreos.

Farmer said this year’s event offers the chance to showcase newly renovated streets and sidewalks.

“You can see the energy being poured into downtown,” he said. “From getting the (State House) dome taken care of, to little stuff like improving the lampposts and having granite in the streets in front of our capitol – I think it’s great.”

With or without the construction, the weekend is always a busy one for local businesses, said Mike Beauregard, owner of Things Are Cooking, a kitchen retail store.

“We get a lot of people who don’t normally shop here stop by and say: ‘Oh, I didn’t know there was a kitchen store downtown,’ ” he said.

And Thursday’s weather only helped increase traffic, said Diane Beauregard, Mike’s wife and co-owner of the store.

“It’s not too hot. It’s not raining,” she added. “It’s just perfect.”

Michael Cohen, owner of Pitchfork Records, agreed. He played music from his tent to help set the festival’s mood – a lot of Beach Boys and the Beatles.

“We’ve been doing this for 41 years now,” he said. “We order new merchandise just for Market Days. I’m a firm believer that if you have a business, you should be able to find something to put out that makes people happy.”

Like many, Concord High alumni Tanja Milic and Dana Godtfredsen came for the food.

“I’m just dying to hit up the fried dough cart,” Milic said. “I’ve had my eye on it.”

They also came for the camaraderie.

“You without a doubt run into someone you know here,” Godtfredsen added.

Others came for the entertainment. Timmy Wilson, 6, of Dunbarton gave the face painting station a good review.

“I got the rattlesnake because I wanted something I liked that was actually cheap for its size,” he said.

His sister Bridget, 8, said the rest of the day was fun, too.

“We’ve been here before,” she said. “And I liked everything this year.”

Longtime friends Nanette Jones of Concord and Catherine Cushing of Hopkinton said they enjoy the ambience of Main Street.

“I always come to Market Days,” Jones said.

“And sometimes, you’ve talked me into it,” Cushing added.

Ultimately, the festival offers a little bit of everything, said Bob Torpey, a Concord resident who is part of the event’s planning committee.

“It’s great fun just to see the crowd,” he said. “It helps give you a sense of what Concord, or the Greater Concord area, really is.”

And hopefully, the festival and the Main Street renovation will make visitors want to return to the area, he said.

“My guess would be more people leave thinking this would be a pretty beautiful city to come back to,” he added. “And, of course, that’s what we’re trying to do.”

(Katie Galioto can be reached at 369-3302, kgalioto@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @katiegalioto.)




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