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Elizabeth City’s waterfront market marks 10th season

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Timothy Roughton, 4, strokes the face of Paine, one of the animals up for adoption by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Northeastern N.C. at last year's Downtown Waterfront Market in this Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017 photo.

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By William F. West
The (Elizabeth City) Daily Advance

Thursday, May 3, 2018

When Elizabeth City’s Downtown Waterfront Market opens for its 10th season this Saturday, regular patrons should notice several new features right away.

One is the live entertainment.

According to Market Coordinator Danielle Toupin, this year’s market, held each Saturday through October at Mariners’ Wharf Park, will feature live music. On Saturday, disc jockey Rayfield Coston will be playing light jazz selections as well as easy listening music.

In addition, members of The Center Players from Arts of the Albemarle will be performing scenes from the musical comedy "Once Upon a Mattress."

There are also six new vendors for this year’s market, Toupin said. They include Meraki Custom Creations, Turbett Family Farm, Sweet Findings, River City Microgreens, Thunder Hill Art and Cathy’s Designs.

According to Toupin, Meraki sells custom-made furniture, wood products and jewelry, while Turbett sells pasture-raised pork, chicken, free range eggs, whole figs and spices/rubs.

Sweet Findings sells jewelry, cards, bookmarks, painted items, wood-burn art and shell art, while River City Microgreens sells organically grown young vegetable greens.

Thunder Hill Art, meanwhile, sells decorated beach gourds and Cathy’s Design sells jewelry.

So far, 21 vendors have signed up for this year’s Downtown Waterfront Market, which gets underway Saturday at 9:30 a.m. Vendors will be set up under white tents offering for sale a range of products — everything from fresh produce, flowers and plants to baked goods, arts and crafts.

Elizabeth City Habitat for Humanity will also have a tent at this year’s market for the first time, Toupin said, joining other nonprofits that find the waterfront on Saturday mornings a great place to explain their services.

Two nonprofits — Albemarle Regional Health Services and the Pasquotank Center of N.C. Cooperative Extension — will also be on hand at the market Saturday offering healthy, non-alcoholic margaritas in celebration of Cinco de Mayo. Cinco de Mayo is the Mexican holiday that celebrates Mexico’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.

Toupin, who moved here from Massachusetts in 2015, is beginning her second year as the Downtown Waterfront Market’s coordinator. She previously served as a crafts vendor at the market before taking on the role of coordinator last year.

Toupin says “it’s awesome” the market is beginning its tenth year. She believes the Saturday morning market helps bring more "foot traffic" to the downtown.

"It's just another activity for folks to do on the weekends, to shop local and support the local shops," she said.

Weather permitting, the Downtown Waterfront Market is held every Saturday morning from May to October with two exceptions: the weekends of the N.C. Potato Festival and Elizabeth City State University’s Homecoming. 

One of Toupin's priorities after being named Waterfront Market coordinator was to rebuild the market’s website. Her son, Nicholas, a technology director for a school in Massachusetts, not only rebuilt the site, he added an approximately 1½-minute-long highlight video. To view the clip, click on https://downtownwaterfrontmarket.com/.

To sign up as a vendor or find out more about the Downtown Waterfront Market, email Toupin at danielle@downtownwaterfrontmarket.com.

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