ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – The Wisner Market, a summer tradition since 1997, held its last day of the season Thursday in downtown Elmira. The market features more than 20 vendors, food trucks and non-profit groups that offer community services, as well as live music.
‘I got some apples, some string beans,” said Patricia Freeman as she walked away from a farmstand. “It’s good for the community, it’s something they can come out for. Today is the last day so I’m going to miss it.”
“It’s a wonderful market, it’s great for the community to come out, and I just think it’s perfect,” said Lisa Ventura, after sitting down for lunch with some co-workers. “It’s one of the favorite things to do in Elmira.”
One of the main attractions is a 1929 popcorn truck. It was a fixture in the park until 1971 when it was sold to a buyer in the Catskills. In the late 1980’s, a group of residents came together to help restore the truck and bring it back to the city. It returned to the park in 1990. Dale Bryant is a member of the Popcorn Truck Preservation Society.
“People say, I remember when it was right on that corner, we used to come here,” said Bryant.
“The problem is we’re losing those people; they’re dying on us. I mean, I remember it is as a kid and I’m 80 years old.”
“The popcorn truck is awesome, we think it’s great, we came for the popcorn!” said Lisa Ventura.
Members of the Elmira River Sharks were also at the market. The new ice hockey team is presenting its new merchandise as it gets ready to hit the ice next month.
“The feedback is going well, we have some of our merch out here,” said Tyler Gjurich, the new head coach. “You have the ability to get some season tickets, get the new jerseys. The colors and the logo are going over well. People are getting excited for the hockey season which is awesome for us.”
“We had some air quality days we had some rain. Other than that, the weather’s been beautiful,” said Kylene Kiah, the Executive Director of Elmira Downtown Development. “We had consistent food vendors, consistent market vendors, nonprofits. I haven’t had any bad feedback, but I think it could always be better. Every year can always be better. We can always do something more. I’d love to get more craft vendors in. I know it’s during lunch hour and most craft vendors have full time jobs. So that is a little difficult, but I’m hoping next year we can work on that. Next month Downtown Development has trunk or treat, and we actually do it right here. That’s October 27th. Then of course our tree lighting is also at Wisner and our parade. I think it’s going to be our 65th year so we’re really excited for that.”
One of the vendors at this year’s market is Ed Bond, the creator of Puzzle Board Chess. To learn more you can visit the Puzzle Board Chess Facebook group or watch the full interview below.