HARTVILLE The Hartville Marketplace hosted an Artisan Alley event on May 16 alongside the regular outdoor flea market. The event was held to showcase the talents and skills of local artists.

It was an outdoor event, inside a long tent. There were 35 to 40 vendors selling handcrafted items from leather goods, to game boards and dog bandanas.

“We hold multiple handcrafted markets throughout the year and this was a new event added to the schedule,” event coordinator Kirk Greaves said. “We’ve had to cancel many events this year including the Memorial Day outdoor flea market, so it was nice to offer this event, the vendors were all happy to be there.”

Greaves said the Memorial Day outdoor flea market draws 30,000 people over the two days and is the biggest outdoor flea market of the year, with Labor Day being the next biggest. While the general merchandise sales have been canceled, Greaves said the indoor shops, Sarah’s Grill and the outdoor farmer’s market, which produce, baked goods, flowers are open.

The Hartville Kitchen and the Hartville Hardware is also be open.

“It was not an easy decision to cancel the outdoor flea market. We just didn’t feel certain we could keep everyone safe with so many people,” Greaves said.

There were a number of safety precautions put into place with the Artisan Alley event, including skipping every other vendor space to keep the social distancing. Hartville Marketplace also encouraged all vendors to wear masks.

Hartville Marketplace monitored how many customers were shopping on the premise both inside and outside in order to maintain social distancing. Most of the customers shopping the event wore masks and were keeping appropriate social distances from others.

“There has been a good turnout of shoppers so far and I’ve had a good day selling,” said vendor Tracid Buday, who owns K9Kraze which makes dog bandanas.

Many people were shopping the fresh vegetables and flea market sections of the Hartville Marketplace and there were many people shopping the stores inside. The carryout section of Hartville Kitchen was also busy.

Hartville Kitchen was allowing six people at a time to come in and order. After placing an order, everyone was asked to wait in their cars and someone from the restaurant brought their orders out to them.

Greaves said there are a number of events coming in June, including sports card and memorabilia show and a Makers Market. Visit the website at https://hartvillemarketplace.com/ for complete details.

“We appreciate everyone’s patience as we navigate these rough times,” Greaves said. “We are working to provide a safe shopping experience while on the property by following the guidelines.”