720 Airport goes on for holiday shoppers

Patricia Faulhaber
Suburbanite correspondent

GREEN  The 720 Market has become a favorite event in Stark and Summit Counties over the past several years. The founders, Lynn and Dave Shimko usually offer three or four open air markets throughout the spring and summer.

Nicole Taylor and Amy Wahl stopped at the Cleveland Pickle table to buy a jar of pickled onion.

But for their 2020 season, the open markets that were scheduled over the spring, summer and fall had to be canceled due to the sizes of crowds that the events have drawn in the past. The Shimkos did host smaller events called 720 Sidestreets in the Oakwood Square Plaza in Plain Township in the fall and they held the 720 Airport event on Dec. 5 at the Akron-Canton Airport.

The Akron-Canton Airport was a new venue for the 720 Markets and it was a huge success even with limiting the number of shoppers in 90 minute increments and with Stark County turning purple on the state of Ohio's COVID map indicating the highest level of community spread.

Jacki Hersman and son Ryan with the White Church Co. selling jams, jellies and preserves at the 720 Airport event on Dec. 5.

“We did have a few vendors who didn’t come today because they were quarantining from being exposed to someone with COVID,” Lynn said. “There are 58 vendors today in two different buildings plus we have the food trucks parked outside. To limit the crowd size, we issued tickets through Eventbrite. Tickets were issued for specific times and in 90-minute increments.”

The vendors were spaced out accordingly, they all wore masks, and all of the shoppers were wearing masks and staying six feet apart.

Many of the vendors said they had a steady stream of shoppers and that they were selling many items. Dover residents Chris Freetage and his brother Michael said this was their first 720 Market. They were selling confections.

Dover residents Chris Freetage and his brother, Michael, were selling confections at the 720 Airport event on Dec. 5.

“This is our first 720 event and we have been really busy all day,” Chris said.

Josh Kabat from Cleveland Pickle said it has done all of the 720 Markets from the beginning. He added that “busy was ok today.”

The vendors were in the main lobby of the airport, on the second floor and in the maintenance building a short walk from the main airport building. The tagline for the event was “Non-Stop Socially Distanced Holiday Shopping”.

Vendors included those selling clothing, jewelry, dog treats, bakery items, candy and much more.

Aaron Novak and his fiancée Katie Simmons were working the Whiskertin Handcrafted Lighting booth at the 720 Airport open air market at the Akron Canton Airport on Dec. 5. Novak is co-owner of the company.