A Look Back at the Season
Updated: Nov 23, 2018
Assistant Market Manager Lauren reflects on what she learned during the 2018 Night Market Season
November has been a strange month without the Millwork Night Market to look forward to. I miss the smiling strangers, the colorful vendor booths, the delicious food, the live music. Have I been having withdrawals? Maybe.
Each night of the market was a whirlwind: set up, work up a sweat (sometimes a lot), coordinate vendors, work crowd control, eat amazing food, grab a beer, man the welcome tent, tear down, debrief with Danielle and Andie, and collapse into bed. I’ve finally had some time to reflect on my memories of the summer, and I realized I learned a whole lot during my short time with the Night Market.
1. Shopping locally really is the best
Everybody always says it’s better to shop at local stores and support people in your community, but you don’t truly see the effects of it until you spend your nights at a market where vendors continue to show up at with new items every time. They are here living, working, and creating in this community. Their food and products don’t have to travel hundreds or thousands of miles (or even from another country), before ending up in your home. This means the carbon footprint of our market is small, which is so much better for the environment. When you buy something from a vendor, you interact with a real person who has put their time, energy, and love into whatever it is that they’re selling. Shopping locally reminds you that everything you buy has some sort of a creation story, and when you hand your money to a vendor, you are experiencing that story in the flesh.
2. Someone is always willing to help
Whether it was setting up chairs and tables in extreme August heat or answering questions at the welcome tent in nearly freezing temperatures, our volunteers were always willing to help out in any way possible. Even beyond the volunteers, customers from the Dubuque community would come to Market, rain or shine, heat wave or the first freeze.
3. People are genuinely good more often than not
I greeted with a smile people of all ages as they walked into the market, and it was usually returned. As they left, I was given comments of praise for the market to relay to Andie and Danielle. Even if people had suggestions for improvement, it was always conveyed in a cooperative, meaningful way. Nothing warms the heart like the kindness of friendly strangers! Bringing together this many people from all walks of life, even if it’s just once a month, helps make a large, collective, positive impact on our community.
Like I said, the absence of Night Market this November has been weird. Luckily, you and I don’t have to wait too much longer before we can experience all of the wonderful things that come with the Millwork Market in an even merrier way. I’ll see you November 30th-December 1st at the Merry Millwork Market, where the Night Market will live on despite the snowy weather!
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