The Iowa City Kids Market is giving local kids the opportunity to show off their passions for a profit.
The Market takes place from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24, at the Chauncey Swan Parking Ramp. Vending at the market is free of charge but highly sought after by families. The Kids Market reached the maximum capacity of vendors again this year due to community interest.
“We have 50 kids signed up, and we have a waiting list of just under 30 and that number is growing, so it’s a really popular event each year,” Michelle Wiegand, Iowa City’s recreation program supervisor for special events and communications, said. “We had our first application within 3 minutes after I sent out the notification, and we were full within a few days.”
Stefany Claussen, 11, is excited to return to the market for her second year as a vendor. At last year’s market, she sold baked goods.
Claussen looks forward to preparing this year’s selection and plans to showcase acrylic paintings, which are available for purchase for the first time.
“I haven’t started my baked goods yet because I want to make sure they’re pretty fresh,” Claussen said. “Luckily, paintings don’t have to be fresh.”
The market brings new people into the farmers market community every year. The Short sisters — Saylor, 12, Brooklyn, 10, and Delilah, 7 — will sell handmade jewelry and cookies at the market.
“I like to make a lot of jewelry and stuff, and I realized that since I do it, I mean, I can just sell it and make a profit from doing something that I like,” Saylor said.
Their mother, Andrea Short, said the sisters have looked forward to selling at the market for over a year after missing out on a spot last year.
“I tried to sign them up for it last year, but it was full, so this is our first year,” Andrea said.
Wiegand said there are many reasons kids want to sell at the market, such as for pocket money, a chance to share their passions, or to raise money for a specific cause.
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“Some kids have participated in the past and really had a great time and are looking to showcase a new skill or talent they had,” Wiegand said. “We also have a number of kids who are raising money for a local organization. I know one group is trying to raise money for the Ronald McDonald house. Another is trying to raise money for a domestic violence intervention program.”
The Kids Market provides a way for young people to get involved in their community, Wiegand said, and hopefully keeps them coming back to support the market afterward.
Claussen is a regular attendee of the Iowa City Farmer’s Market when she isn’t a vendor.
“Me and my mom go to the farmers market every Saturday, so it is really fun to actually be a part of it,” Claussen said.