The town of Chesterton, Indiana celebrated the return of long-awaited sunshine and warmer temperatures this weekend with their 14th annual European Market, once again bringing the ambience and character of a european shopping experience to the midwest.
“We opened today for our first market of the year,” said Jacqueline Thomas, who serves as market director for the Duneland Chamber of Commerce, Chesterton European Market and Burns Harbor European Market on the Square. “The Chesterton European Market runs every Saturday, rain or shine, from the first Saturday in May through the last Saturday in October, from 8-2pm.”
“We offer something for everyone - from artisanal foods to craft items, plants and jewelry. There is something for everyone here,” Thomas said.
The Chesterton European Market has expanded their footprint this year, and now stretches to Thomas Centennial Park in downtown Chesterton. The market typically boasts over 70 vendors, though that number can grow significantly during the peak season.
“From June through August we may see well over 90 vendors here,” Thomas said.
The 2018 opening day for the market was easily one of their biggest ever, with hundreds of people coming to enjoy the best that local vendors have to offer. Katie Reynolds, who especially likes the locally-grown honey and fresh-baked breads, came from New York with her husband, Nathan.
“We’re originally from Portage, but we’re moving back to Indiana,” Reynolds said. “This is our second year visiting the market. There are other markets, but they don’t have nearly as many vendors as they do here - it’s just such a nice place to visit."
This year’s opening day even saw members of Premier Performance on hand to present live excerpts from their musical Aladdin, much to the delight of visitors and passers-by.
Michele Zerkel of Crown Point, aka “The Charms Chick” is proud to return for her eighth year as a vendor.
“Twenty years ago, someone taught me how to make jewelry and I’ve been doing it ever since,” said Zerkel. “It was a hobby gone wild and now I do it full-time.”
Known for her famous beaded leatherette bracelet designs, Zerkel says that she is at the market every Saturday, without fail.
“This is the best market around, hands-down. The staff that run it are great to work with, the other vendors are really friendly and the people who come out to shop and visit are just the best!” Zerkel said.
The Chesterton European Market is located right in the heart of downtown Chesterton, at the corner of Broadway and Third Street, next to Thomas Centennial Park. It is easily accessible from both the Indiana Tollway aand Interstate 80/94 and just minutes away from the Indiana Dunes and the shores of Lake Michigan.
To learn more about the Chesterton European Market, visit their website here!