The Town of Putnam is preparing to host a series of multi-weekend outdoor markets. The series of markets, "Pop-Up Putnam," is being organized by the Putnam Business Association and the town's Economic and Community Development Department. They will kick-off next weekend, pending approval from the Board of Selectmen.
“It is to showcase a little bit of hopefulness during this time for businesses to be successful," said Delpha Very, the town's economic and community development director.
Pop-Up Putnam is a part of the town's Light Up Putnam campaign to promote businesses in town. Very said that her department has been working to develop the idea with the PBA for at least the last month. She said that the goal of the markets is to show support for businesses downtown and to build consumer confidence.
“We needed to look at a new campaign to kind of give people consumer confidence and get them out in the streets a little bit more," said Very.
The market is geared towards local artists and vendors. The town and PBA will provide those who register with a space, limited to about a dozen, at no cost. They ask that all vendors bring their own tent. Spaces will be spread out throughout downtown including on Main Street, in Rotary Park and along the river trail.
“We are being very conscious of maintaining good social distancing," said Rae Dykeman, the marketing chair for the PBA. “This will be an open-air market where people feel comfortable to shop.”
Mayor Barney Seney told NBC Connecticut that the Board of Selectmen will hold a special vote to approve the Pop-Up Putnam. Dykeman said that the plan is to host four market days through October.
With many customers, across the country, still wary of shopping inside during the pandemic, Very said that she hopes this will show the local businesses some support. They are aiming to support the local vendors by giving them space to sell their goods outside, build confidence among consumers, and ultimately drive more customers to the downtown businesses and restaurants.
“People that may not be coming to Putnam will come here, see what else is going on, and maybe have a bite to eat, get a cup of coffee," said Sheila Frost, co-owner of Courthouse Bar and Grille. Frost said that she is excited for the event and to see other local businesses thrive.
More information on Pop-Up Putnam can be found at discoverputnam.com.