Open-air market to feature array of products

DOWAGIAC – Artisans of handmade goods, fall produce and sweet delicacies will be among more than 30 vendors featured at the open-air marketplace of Dowagiac’s autumn festival, Under the Harvest Moon.

The community’s autumn celebration on Saturday, Oct. 13, brings together collectors of 25 to 30 antique farm tractors and a marketplace of Michigan-grown produce, autumn mums and handmade products, plus family events.

Dowagiac’s autumn festival is presented by the Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce.  Corporate and in-kind sponsors of the event are: Accounting Consultants, Creative Vinyl Signs, Dowagiac Area History Museum, Kim MacGregor’s office of Edward Jones, Forest Glen Assisted Living, Hale’s Hardware, J&H Oil Company, Leader Publications, Mennel Milling of Michigan, Preferred Printing, Skibbe Business & Tax Service, Smoke Vision Care, Southwestern Michigan College, Town and Country Garden Club and William’s A-1 Expert Tree Service.

Festival organizers are pleased to welcome more than 30 commercial vendors and exhibitors, who will be setting up their wares on Front and Commercial streets for the celebration.

Vickie Phillipson, Chamber of Commerce program director and event chairman, said vendors from this season’s Farm and Artisan Market will be relocating from their usual post outside the Dowagiac Area History Museum to Front Street for the festival.

Farm market patrons will find Aiye Akhigbe, jams, jellies, honey and maple syrup; Crystal Sprague of Sprague Farms, pumpkins, gourds, mums and fall produce; and Angelica Vessi, an assortment of fall produce.

Commercial vendors appearing at the open-air market will be: Robyn Ake, extreme face painting; Shirl Bontrager and North Wayne Mennonite Church, bake sale; artist Larry Collins, wood burning; Mildred Collins of Creekside Greenhouse; May Dobbs, body care products; Tina Flanigan, pottery; Diane Follmer, crocheted items; Jayne Fox, crocheted hats and baby items; and Sara Gibson, homemade soaps.

Exhibitors also include: Beth Green, embroidered towels and pillows; Jeannie Kincses and Kathy Richardson, snap jewelry and accessories; Stephanie Krueger, crocheted hats, mittens and pumpkins; Phil Meiser, maple syrup; Carol Ott, jewelry; Carolyn Paluszewski, Scentsy; Ashlegh Pellow, intricate macramé jewelry; Linda Peters, handcrafted bears, blankets and earrings; Debbie Spencer, personalized trick or treat buckets; Marcia Steffens, paintings and children’s items, Kimberely Vanderbelt, health and beauty items; and Heather Wilt, crocheted items.

Informational booths include those by:  Andy Anderson, Cass County Republicans; Francois Duchesneau, Cass County Democratic Party; Kaleb Burpee and Kathy Fiebig, Voters Not Politicians; and Angie Marciniak, Leader Publications.

For those with an appetite, they will be able to visit these festival food vendors: Hubbert’s Kettle Corn, Smokin’ Good BBQ, Smoke Signal BBQ, Krause Elephant Ears Express and The Baker’s Rhapsody. On the outdoor patio at Wounded Minnow Saloon, patrons will have a choice of four seasonal soups, and will also be able to sample wine and craft brew. At Caruso’s Candy Kitchen, there will be hot cider, caramel apples and a cinnamon ice cream topped with warm apples, pecans and caramel.

Under the Harvest Moon, which runs from 10 to 4 p.m., will also feature live entertainment and family events throughout the day.  For a full schedule of activities visit DowagiacChamber.com, its Facebook page or call (269) 782-8212.