Sunny skies welcome return of Chesterton market
By Amy Lavalley Post-Tribune correspondent May 4, 2014 7:00PM
Emily Gray of Chesterton, along with newborn son Sullivan, considers a hanging flower basket during the inaugural European Market Saturday in downtown Chesterton. | Sun-Times Media
If you go
The European Market continues from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays through Oct. 25 at Broadway and Third streets in downtown Chesterton. For more information, go to www.chestertonseuropeanmarket.com.
Updated: June 6, 2014 6:18AM
CHESTERTON — Pam Taylor makes the trip from her St. John home to the Chesterton European Market every several weeks once the market kicks off.
Depending on the traffic, it takes less than an hour she said Saturday during the inaugural market. She likes the plants and, later in the season, the fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as the baked goods and the gourmet cheeses.
“It’s just one of the bigger markets and it’s got the vendors I’m particular to,” she said, adding she’s been heading to Chesterton for the past few years. “It’s worth the trip.”
About 86 vendors took part in the first market of the season, and about 92 are expected to join once produce is in season, said Deanna Kasch, the market’s manager. About 1,000 people stop by on a typical Saturday, though it’s more if there’s an event at Thomas Centennial Park, which is next to the market.
“It’s just a good family outing and I know everyone’s excited. They miss a lot of their favorites,” Kasch said.
Parents pushed strollers with toddlers wearing hats and sunglasses, pet lovers had their pooches on leashes, and the crowd dressed in a mix of flip flops and warm jackets on the breezy day.
For Emily Gray of Chesterton, who was holding her 3-week-old son, Sullivan, the market provided some much-needed fresh air.
“I need to get out. I’m going stir crazy,” the new mom said, “and this is the perfect place for our first little outing.”
The town’s tree board, part of Chesterton’s designation as a Tree City USA, handed out free saplings, a tradition at every first market of the year, board member Stu Franzen said. The booth offered 600 saplings in five varieties and tips on how to plant and care for them.
“We provide them all for free. You don’t need to be a citizen of Chesterton,” Franzen said, adding the trees are typically gone by noon.
“If you look around, a lot of people are carrying them. The price is right.”