SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – Vendors lined Main Street and the People’s United Bank Plaza in Springfield on August 20 for the all-day 5th annual Market Madness.
The sun was shining, there was a gentle breeze, and a large crowd of people seemed happy to be there for music, food, and fun.
Music was played by 5 Seasons Entertainment at the intersection of Main and Park Street, and live bands were set up on the corner of Valley Street. An entertainer on stilts conversed with his crowd, and girls from Jenkins Dance and Gymnastics performed “HandClap” by Fitz and Tantrums. One of the girls who performed the song, Ainsley Bertone, has been dancing for 13 years. She explained that the girls only had only a few short hours to practice their performance.
“We didn’t have much time,” Bertone smiled, “Like an hour on Tuesday and an hour on Thursday.” Regardless of how long they practiced, they got quite the ovation.
As the day grew and the sun got warmer the dunk tank, sponsored by Claremont Savings Bank, was a popular attraction. The Springfield chief of police sat in the tank, waiting patiently while a young boy aimed for the target. After multiple attempts without success, the boy ran up and pushed the ball onto the target, releasing the chief into the cool water. The crowd watching the young boy’s trick cheered and laughed with excitement.
Across from the dunk tank was a puppy kissing booth. Get a sweet puppy kiss for $1 and support the Springfield Humane Society! There were two young Pitbull pups waiting patiently to give snuggles and gentle kisses, and to tell you they are up for adoption!
The Steampunk festival folks were set up in the next tent over, also raising money for the Human Society. If you brought your furry friend with you to Market Madness dressed in Steampunk gear, or even without, they were taking pictures to upload onto their Facebook page. The photo that receives the most likes will get a free ticket to the Steampunk festival for the weekend of Sept. 23 through 25.
For some vendors it was their first year at Market Madness.
Cassandra Boardman and Angela Bailey, founders of Casper Crafts, were set up with their tent of handmade jewelry. They had silver, rope, and other chain materials, as well as beautifully crafted colorful glass pendants. Donna Montgomery was another first-timer to Market Madness with her handmade seashell crafts. Her shells have been collected from different parts of Maine, and turned into unique pieces of art.
The Color Gauntlet 5k walk or run had a stand set up down the road from the small bank plaza. They were encouraging people to sign up for their event on October 1. Proceeds for the run will go to the Springfield wrestling team for mats and other safety equipment.
Hunter, a young boy pictured on their table, wore a shirt that said, “No time-outs, no substitutes, no rest, no place to hide. Wrestling is not for everybody!” Hunter is only 9 years old, and is the son of the couple that was running the sign-up table. His shirt was inspiring, as was his story.
Hunter recently won third place in states, and for coach Buck, it was a rush. To see him struggle and learn during states was a hair-raising experience for Buck.
“As the coach, I could see he just had to reach around and pin his leg,” Buck explained, thinking of ways Hunter could have placed first. “But the growth he had at that time was phenomenal,” Buck expressed. “He wouldn’t have had that experience if he had have won 1st place.” Coach Floyd Buck, and Hunter’s mom and dad continued encourage people throughout the day to participate in their Color Gauntlet to help support such an inspirational wrestling team.
Other vendors provided cold water, fresh fruits and veggies, baked goods and jams, Vermont maple syrup, jewelry, beer and wine to taste and to purchase, and so much more. Activities for kids were strategically placed around the venue, including sand art, paint spin art, and a “Kidz Corner” with sidewalk chalk, hopscotch, jump rope, and other outdoor activities.
The day was a success for all. It would not have been possible without Tom Hernon, owner of HB Fuels, and some of his staff that helped set up for the event, including situating the road blocks for the safety of vendors and consumers at the event. Springfield on the Move and their members are also to thank, as well as any other contributors, sponsors, and volunteers.
For all of the vendors, there was money and connections to be made, and for the families there were many foods, activities, and fun to enjoy!