West Jeff farmers

As summer rolls in, the red carpet is rolling out to attract visitors to West Jefferson.

The West Jefferson Business Council, an affiliate of the Madison County Chamber of Commerce, is tweaking plans for summer events. A re-energized farmers market and a “bigger and better’’ car show are on the agenda as business council members take strength from the record-breaking National Road Yard Sale held in late May.

About a dozen representatives from West Jefferson business, community and government entities met June 7 to work out event details.

Ray Martin and Marcus Pohlmann, members of the farmers market committee, reported that several vendors have committed to participate in the weekly market in the parking lot of the former Cardinal grocery store. Martin said the committee has not set an opening date for the season. 

“We’re looking at Saturday, July 5 or Saturday, July 12. We would like input from you as to your thoughts,’’ Martin told fellow business council members.

Martin added that the committee had a concern about opening the market over the July Fourth weekend and wondered if vendors would be willing to participate over the holiday.

The consensus was that the market opening would tie in well with the holiday weekend.

“Regular vendors who set up at farmers markets will set up on holidays as well as other days. This is part of how they make their living,’’ said Sean Hughes, executive director of the Madison County Chamber of Commerce.

Martin said he would take the business council’s thoughts back to the committee which was scheduled to meet last week. Pohlmann said more vendors are welcome.

“We’re looking for more vendors, so if you know of anyone with tomatoes, corn or anything they would like to sell, have them contact us,’’ Pohlmann said.

The theme and motto of the 2008 farmers market is “Home grown, home baked or home-made.’’

“If you grow it, bake it or make it at your home, the vendor’s space is free. If it’s a commercial venue with products that you order in to sell, spaces will be charged at $5 each,” Martin said.

Martin added that the committee needs sponsors to finance fliers and banners for the market similar to those circulated for the business council’s recent National Road Yard Sale event.

Vendors who want to participate in the weekly Saturday market and businesses or people from the community who want to help sponsor advertising fliers or banners should call Jerry Ramage at 614-879-8717 or stop by his Nationwide Insurance office located at 82 E. Main St. in West Jefferson.

A firm date has yet to be announced for the business council’s 2008 Madison Classic Car Show. The business council’s first car show, held last year, took place in downtown West Jefferson and attracted fewer entrants than organizers hoped for. Council members suggested holding the show on Sept. 6 this year; the date was not confirmed.

Regarding the National Road Yard Sale, Joan Denes, a member of the Madison County Chamber of Commerce and chairwoman of the West Jefferson Business Council, said the entire event was “phenomenal.’’ She said she could not get over seeing so many cars lining both sides of village streets as folks shopped for bargains along Route 40.

Brenda Lightfoot, who participated in the 2007 and 2008 yard sales, said her sales were 40 percent higher this year. Ray Martin, a member of the business council’s yard sale committee, said the West Jefferson government has given its approval to allow village residents not located along Route 40 to also hold sales in conjunction with the annual event.

“So it’s from now on known to be known as the West Jefferson Community National Road Garage Sale,’’ Martin said.

Held during the final days of May, the sale is sponsored by the National Road Association and stretches from Baltimore, Md., to St. Louis, Mo.

The West Jefferson Business Council will meet again at 9 a.m. July 12 at Hurt-Battelle Memorial Library in West Jefferson.

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