Havre Daily News/Nikki Carlson, file photo
Susan Anderson, left, and Will Anderson, center, of Rudyard help a customer at their Anderson Orchards stand at the Saturday Market at Town Square in August.
Havre’s Saturday Market provides an opportunity for people to buy and sell foods that vendors grow, but what about the growth of the market itself?
At the Hill County Health Consortium meeting on Thursday, the members talked about the possibility that the market either has outgrown, or could soon outgrow, its current location on Town Square.
“It has outgrown its space, which is outstanding, ” Bridget Kallenberger, public health nurse for the Hill County Health Department, said at the meeting.
And the rest of the board agreed.
LuAnn McLain from the HELP Committee at the Boys & Girls Club of the Hi-Line said that the market is “an awesome resource that just needs to grow. ”
And Katie Heath, director of Hill County’s Office of Public Assistance, recalled enjoying going to the market and having access to all of the fresh healthy foods. Though occasionally quarters were close in the parking lot full of people.
The board discussed similar markets in cities like Kalispell, Great Falls and Missoula, where more vendors have more space and customers are able to wander while they peruse the local goods.
The Havre Area Chamber of Commerce, who put on the event, recognize its growth, but don’t think space is at that much of a premium yet.
Shari Robinson, the Chamber’s office manager, said that Saturday Market had “probably doubled” in the 10 years it has been held, from 15 vendors in the beginning to around 35 during particularly good weeks last summer.
Even with that growth, Chamber Executive Director Debbie Vandeberg said that she had not heard any complaints about space limitations.
“Actually we’ve got lots of space left for vendors, ” Vandeberg said.
One of those vendors, Nate Frickel from Saddle Butte Custom Smoking, said that despite the growth, it doesn’t seem too big yet.
When asked if he remembered the market being too crowded last year, Frickel said, “Not really. It’s definitely getting fuller. ”
The Chamber, Health Consortium, vendors and customers, will all see how crowded this summer gets when Saturday Market starts up again in three weeks on July 9.