‘Old school’ to host Mt. Sterling Farmers Market
By Dean Shipley
Some life is coming back to “the old school.”
Mt. Sterling Elementary School will spring back to life on Friday with a Farmers Market. Now dubbed the “old school event center,” the former elementary school building at 94 W. Main St. will host an inaugural farmers market at 3 p.m. Fruit, vegetable vendors and others will be welcome to set up and sell their goods for four hours.
The first time set-up will be free Schurch said on Wednesday. Subsequent space rental will be $10 for one day, $15 for both. Space will be as needed based on availability. He settled on first-free, then pay later in a meeting with three other community farmers market coordinators, Chad Depugh, of London, Marci Darlington, of West Jefferson, and Chris Long, of Plain City. Schurch called them in for advice to get the Mt. Sterling market up and running.
Basically they told him if you want it to be successful, answer this question: got vendors?
Depugh said expect start-up to be small. Vendors make the market work. Depugh said the London Farmers Market specifies all foods and craft items be produced, grown, manufactured in Madison County. He said the more vendors a market has the better the market will be.
Schurch has taken on the general manager’s position of the event center and has numerous ideas to rekindle interest in the former school. He said he and a group of volunteers have been busy cleaning the first floor of the multi-level building. It fell victim to vandals, but damage has apparently been repaired and security cameras, in place when the building sold last summer, have been re-activated.
Schurch’s plan for the farmers market assigns its hours as Friday afternoon, Saturday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Friday time slot will not clash with the times of other communities’ markets. London and West Jefferson have markets from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday and Plain City has its market from 3-7 p.m. on Friday. The latter market will open Friday, June 29.
In addition to the market, Schurch has ambitious plans for the old school event center. It will be available for groups to rent the gymnasium. His other ideas include cornhole contests, talent contest (with cash prizes), car and motorcycle shows.
As a symbolic gesture of “rebirth” a non-denominational praise service will be held at 5 p.m. Sunday in the gym. It will include singing songs of praise plus a brief message. He asks attendees bring with them a flashlight. At the end of the service, the room will be darkened and the flashlights gradually turned on.
“Don’t curse the darkness, light a candle,” Schurch said.
For more information contact Schurch at (614) 595-1107.