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The B & O Night Market has returned for another year.
Last year’s venture for the B & O Station in downtown Youngstown was so successful that organizers brought back the outdoor market that features local produce, artisans and entertainment.
Melissa Papini of Boardman was one of the first customers to arrive on Thursday for the market’s second season kickoff.
“I got some mint, I got some kale, I got some avocados, and that was just at one table,” Papini said.
She was thrilled when the market started last year, and was even more excited when she learned it would be back.
“Being able to buy organic fresh produce is always a plus and it being downtown so close to work right when I get off work, it’s perfect,” Papini said.
Much like the produce the vendors sell, the market will grow as the summer months go on. But plenty of people came out Thursday night to listen to some live music, eat a little barbecue and buy groceries for the week.
“We’re super-focused on local. Local vendors, local artisans, crafters, making sure that we represent all different aspects,” said Amber Rochow, co-organizer for the B & O Night Market.
One of those local vendors is Wick and Fifth, which specializes in beeswax products and honey when it’s in season.
“If we can shift our dollars to local food produce, that can mean a huge bonus for the area in terms of money staying here. This is a way to get directly to the farm and you don’t have to deal with the middle man usually,” Rochow said.
The Night Market is based off a West Coast concept, and is a laid back atmosphere that isn’t a typical farmer’s market.
“Because we wanted to hit the demographic of people getting off work. And some people just can’t go on a Saturday or a Sunday,” said Amy Fobes, manager of the B & O Station.
“We have such a great agricultural society here where we’re so disconnected from it. You know, shopping at the grocery store when we can be shopping from people who are right here in our community, growing this stuff for us,” Papini said.
The B & O Night Market will run every other Thursday in May and October. It will run every Thursday from June through September. It opens at 5 p.m.