Marketplace Thursdays start despite rain threat in Wausau - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Marketplace Thursdays start despite rain threat in Wausau

WAUSAU (WAOW) -- The 400 Block in Wausau got crowded Thursday with people shopping for hand-crafted jewelry, art and fresh produce.

Organizers say cloudy skies kept dozens of vendors from the first Marketplace Thursday of the year, but the threat of rain didn't dampen any enthusiasm for the summer favorite.

The weather almost got in the way.

"This morning we had a little scare," said Jesse Nowaczyk, the marketing director for Wausau Area Events. "Some vendors didn't want to stick around."

"Everyone else was freaking out and leaving but it never rained a drop," said vendor Vicki Lafave, owner of Spirit Stones.

The marketplace went on without a hitch. Some 20 vendors showed off their crafts and homegrown fresh foods and shared in each other's work.

"It's a nice place to show people what you're able to do," Lafave said. "You learn from other artists, meet other artists."

"We all have something in common, everyone that brings something down here to sell or to show," said David Crooks, a first-time vendor with Sprout Collective.

Lafave says she was going to be there rain or shine.

"I'm a diehard," she said. "I've been doing this for eight years already. I've sat through rainstorms so I wasn't going to miss the first day of the market."

After the difficult winter, other vendors had the same feeling.

"The winter kind of lets people get shut in and make everything, and then in summertime it's like a big rush to get all the stuff out here, enjoy the weather, enjoy the sunshine," Crooks said.

"There's a lady selling strawberries. She woke up at four in the morning this morning to get her strawberries and get them out here," Nowaczyk said.

It's not an uncommon commitment to what's become a weekday tradition in downtown Wausau.

"There's nothing else like this really going on," said Lafave.

Organizers say they expect at least 50 vendors to set up shop on upcoming Thursdays.
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