Locals celebrate Valentine’s with makers market


SHOPPING AROUND: Makers and producers set up booths for people to visit.

Nicholas Soirez

As Valentine’s Day approaches, some of Monroe’s local vendors decided that it’s the perfect time to share their merchandise with the community. Last weekend, the North Louisiana Makers and Producers Market showed their love for the local community by hosting a market event at the Paramount Healthcare Consultant Parking Lot in West Monroe. Vendors sold various Valentine’s Day themed items and homemade crafts. Though the event was relatively small in size, there was plenty of lively activity among the vendors, who were engaging with each other about their products. Customers roamed around, gazing delightfully at the various crafts in each booth. Several vendors set up booths at the market. The products being sold ranged from soap and wooden crafts all the way to goat kisses. Although this may seem odd, the baby goat kissing booth was a hit. Many shoppers were filled with excitement as they saw the small animals and wanted to hold them. The vendor running that stand, Carla Nelson, runs a local dairy goat farm here in Monroe. Nelson participates in markets like this one “for the betterment of the community.” She is proud to help other vendors sell their merchandise and get more traffic for their small businesses. Another vendor at the market, Tina Otwell, sold jewelry, car charms and several other items. Otwell enjoys spending time outside with members of the community and forming friendships with the people around her. “I think it helps the community just to come together and be together, and it gets people out and about,” Otwell said. The Valentine’s Day-themed market gave all of these people a chance to go out and show the community what they have to offer. One vendor, Chandler Ragsdale, sold his landscape photographs as well as crocheted hats and animals made by his wife. He loves that this event gives him and other people like him the ability to show their art to the community. Ragsdale said, “It gives citizens and students an opportunity to see more things, and I think it gives vendors a chance to show their work and a platform and place to spread what they do.”