HomeWorld NewsNew ‘Open Air Market’ series coming near Portage Lake with … – Daily Press & Argus
New ‘Open Air Market’ series coming near Portage Lake with … – Daily Press & Argus
September 16, 2023
PINCKNEY — A group of small business owners have teamed up to launch a new recurring Saturday market featuring crafts, handmade goods, farmers, local businesses, and live music on the Huron River across from Portage Lake between Pinckney and Dexter.
Owners of Portage Lake Trading Post, a convenience store; NautiMI on the River, a gift shop, ice cream parlor and cafe; and Hamlett Lavender Farm put their heads together.
NautiMI owner Melissa Kunnert and Regina Hamlett had already been talking about how the area needed a farmers’ market. After recently taking over ownership of the Portage Lake Trading Post, Dawn Amerman began expressing interest in collaborating with fellow business owners on community events.
The first “Autumn Open Air Market” will be held 9 a.m.−1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23 outside NautiMI, at 9260 McGregor Road, and Portage Lake Trading Post, next door at 9270 McGregor Road. Rock band The Renegades, which features an Elvis impersonator, will perform.
The autumn markets will be held Saturdays through Nov. 11, when they will cap off its first season with a Veterans Day celebration.
Two other businesses on McGregor Road — Ore Creek Cider and Riverside Pizza — will help with overflow parking.
Hamlett said lining up vendors is going well. They have secured around 22 vendors, as of Thursday. She said they will limit it to around 30-35 vendors.
“We have a lot of local people who make things,” she said. “Jewelry, crochet. There is a guy who makes hot sauces and barbecue rubs. Our farm will be there. We have a farm and make our own lavender products. We have some cottage food-type bakers.”
She said she hopes other local farmers will participate in the market.
“I’ve been wanting to start a farmers market,” Hamlett said, who is on the board of directors of the Michigan Agritourism Association. “Pinckney had one and then it dissolved. I mentioned to Melissa, I’d love to have one at NautiMI.”
Kunnert said after Amerman took over ownership of the Portage Lake Trading Post, they have been talking about how businesses could collaborate.
“In the fall, along the river, people aren’t out boating, so we and the Trading Post don’t get the inherent traffic from boaters,” she said, also saying that traffic from people staying in their cottages or short-term rentals such as Airbnb starts to slow down.
“We want people to know we’re open year-round and to come see what we’ve got. Hopefully, it will pique your interest a bit and give you a reason to shop local.”