Exhibiting Greensboro: City Market hosts local vendors and artists

By Mary McLean, Staff Writer

Published in print Sept.24, 2014

The chatter of people, the smell of food trucks, the barking of dogs, the spinning of records, all this and more was happening in Greensboro’s south end on Thursday night at the GSO City Market.

This summer and fall has been the second season of City Market, with more and more citizens of Greensboro attending the monthly gathering of local vendors, musicians and artists.

The Railyard, a parking lot on South Elm Street located between the storefronts and the train tracks is transformed every third Thursday. When the tents go up, the trucks arrive and people begin to flood in. This relatively new tradition is still gaining steam through word of mouth.

City Market was started through a partnership between Running with Horses, LLC and Triad Local First, as a way to promote local business and build community in the triad. Running with Horses is a business that partners with non-profit organizations to run what they call “Redeeming Events.”

“We look at each event and ask two questions,” quips their website. “’Is it fun?’ and ‘Will folks feel better about themselves leaving than they did when they showed up?’ A good event should say yes to both.”

Besides City Market, they have organized the Greensboro Zombie run, the 2013 Mud Bug run and a 5K4H20. The feel-good element of City Market comes not only from supporting local businesses, but knowing that much of the profits go to the Interactive Resource Center, an organization that assists people experiencing homelessness.

“We want to see how creative and how fun we can be, and often a little bit quirky,” said Luck Davidson, a representative of Triad Local First who helps organize the market. “It has definitely gotten bigger. There are a lot more vendors, who have found us through word of mouth, Triad Local First, the farmers market and other community oriented groups.”

This variety makes the City Market a great place to look for gifts from both familiar places like Sisters on Tate and more unique options like The Factory’s wooden bow ties, both of which had booths on Thursday night.

The market also features an amazing array of food products. Dinner could be bought at one of the many food trucks, including Burrito Bandito and The Great Escape, and then finished off with a delicious pastry item from one of the bakery booths, or even a refreshing Kona shaved ice. Fresh produce was also available from Farmer Brown’s mobile market and a Greensboro Farmer’s Market Booth.

Davidson explained how the City Market offers business owners the chance to both sell their products and gain recognition. 

“Part of the process for some people is coming here and seeing that there is a demand for their products,” said Davidson. “I know a woman who was running her business out of her home, sort of doing it on the side as a hobby, and then came here and saw the interest, and now she just opened her own store.”

However, while supporting local business is important, it is not the only goal of City Market.

“We are trying to keep young people from running from Greensboro as fast as they can when they graduate or have the ability to leave,” said Davidson. “We want to build that sense of community.” Last Thursday at least, they definitely had success on that front. It was hard not to feel a sense of belonging among the students, children, break-dancers, business owners and city dwellers that made up the crowds.

The next City Market will be on October 16, 2014.

Categories: Features, mary mclean

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