Minturn Market is back June 21, bigger and better than ever
With all the hustle and bustle of shopping malls, big-box stores and glitzy shops, it’s relaxing once in a while to slow the pace and step off the beaten path. At the Minturn Market this summer, you’ll find an exhilarating shopping experience in a friendly, laid-back atmosphere reminiscent of an earlier time and you’re likely to make some unique and enchanting discoveries as well.From June 21 through Sept. 13, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Minturn Market will feature a delightful, colorful mix of fresh produce, specialty foods, arts and crafts, one-of-a-kind clothing, fine arts and rousing entertainment – not to mention a tempting array of ready-to-eat meals and a fun-filled place to mingle with friends, neighbors and strangers. It’s no wonder the Minturn Market has grown increasingly popular during its five years of existence. And this summer, the Market promises to be bigger and better than ever before."It is going to be the largest year of the market so far," says Minturn Market coordinator Nicole Magistro. More than 100 vendors will be involved throughout the season, she says. Last year, the market drew some 40,000 visitors."It’s become a great opportunity for the residents all over the valley to interact with artists, and for people throughout the community to get something they don’t get throughout the rest of the year," Magistro explains. "People want to do something dynamic when they visit the valley, but they also want to get off the beaten path. At the Minturn Market, they feel they’re getting part of the local flavor here in the valley.The market will feature past favorites, such as Miller Farms of Platteville, and Loredana’s Pesto, a Market staple since the beginning is back, as is Climax Turkey.There will be fresh bakers and local jam makers, and no less than six fresh fruit and vegetable vendors. The market also features artists and jewelry makers of every style of jewelry, from primitive to trendy, and crafts people who proffer handmade photo albums, clothing and woven hats. The Yarn Studio will also be on hand to sell their lovely hand-knitted scarves, sweaters and hats. And don’t forget about the fine artists, including painters, sculptors, wood carvers, glass blowers and basket weavers.New this summer is a gardening category. Several vendors will showcase potted plants and native plants, organic potted vegetables, fresh herbs and fertilizer gardening kits."Each one of our vendors is very professional," Magistro says. "We have a great caliber of vendors this year." In fact, quality was key to the vendor selection this year. The Market staff sent out some 400 application packets this year, and by the beginning of April every spot was filled, and there is a long waiting list as well.JB’s Barbecue of Minturn, Mango’s Mountain Grill of Red Cliff and the Cooking School of Vail from the Savory Inn are just a few of the food vendors offering tasty breakfasts and lunches.The market will offer a fun, educational component this season, with seminars on cooking and gardening. From 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., you can participate in the market’s new, interactive learning center and pick up some helpful information from local chefs or garden experts. One weekend, for example, the Savory Inn’s Cooking School of Vail will offer wedding cake creation demonstrations. Another weekend, Stefan Schupbach, the executive chef at the Ritz Carlton in Bachelor Gulch, will offer cooking demonstrations. And on yet another Saturday, the Master Gardeners from the CSU Extension office will host xeriscaping seminars, with tips on water conservation and gardening throughout the drought. Look for exact times and dates, and a full lineup of seminars in the near future.Afternoons will still feature live entertainment, giving the market a festival atmosphere. There will be performances by the Vail Valley Jazz Foundation, and several popular, local bands will fill the air with music from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.The Minturn Business Association is sponsoring the new Non-Profit Tent, available, free of charge to non-profit organizations in the valley to pass out information or to sell items to raise money. For instance, local eighth-grade Girl Scouts will sell baked goods and crafts, and CASA (a child advocacy organization) and SOS (Snowboard Outreach Society) will take turns manning the tent as wellAccording to Magistro, that fits well with the market’s mission, which originally started to improve life in Minturn and draw business to the town."When it started five years ago, there wasn’t anything like it in the valley," says Magistro. As it grew bigger and bigger, it has become a staple of the community, she adds. It’s an opportunity for Minturn show off its quaint, historic town, and it provides businesses and vendors from all over the state a fun venue to show off their wares. "It’s like when I’ve gone to Europe, and all the vendors are packed in there and everyone is having a good time; it has that kind of flare. People are just happy to be there."