Downtown Market event brings community together – Stratford Star

Posted: Thursday, September 21, 2017

Mayoral candidate Sandra Zalik, left, and Trish Thompson, owner of Shelton-based Beyond The Sea, discuss an example of Thompson’s mixed media resin based cut glass. — Andy Hutchison photo

From organic soap and stained glass to homemade children’s gifts, a vast variety of art and locally made products were on display as nearly 50 vendors came together for the Downtown Market CT at the Colonial Square Plaza on Sunday.

Stratford Economic Development Commissioner Neil Sherman said he proposed the idea as a way for both vendors to show and sell their work and for non-for-profit organizations to promote themselves two years ago. This was the second Downtown Market event.

“Our plans are to keep this going and make it larger and bring more people into Stratford, and help them have an understanding of what a great downtown we have,” Sherman said.

Attendees shopped for unique items under tents while music filled the air.

Amy Bracco, owner of Special Treats, was selling products for babies and young children that she makes out of her Stratford home and typically sells online as well as at City Line Florist in Trumbull. Bracco has children in the Stratford school system and is a proponent of community activity, which is why she participated in the event.

“It’s all about building a better Stratford, making it better and stronger,” Bracco said.

Among the nonprofits on hand was Square One Theatre Company, represented by Diane Grace and Patricia Rock.

“A lot of people have stopped by,” said Rock about midway through the day-long show, adding that among them were several new-to-Stratford residents getting to know their community.

“It was a very good idea,” Rock said of the event being held, adding that the theatre company had several names of guests interested in subscriptions for the shows.

“We hope a lot of people will come,” Rock said.

The Pyramid Shriners, Stratford Historical Society and Stratford Library were also on hand for the festival’s second year.

“It gives an opportunity for nonprofit organizations to get their names out there,” Sherman said.

Ameira Hernandez, a Stratford High School student, stands at her booth promoting her business Art Sensations during last Sunday’s Downtown Market in Stratford Center. — Andy Hutchison photos

Several vendors were from neighboring towns, though many were Stratfordites, including Stratford High School student Ameira Hernandez, who promoted her Art Sensations business, specializing in temporary, organic body art.

Ameira’s mother, Samary, said her daughter’s business is an example of what children can do when encouraged to pursue their passion.

“It’s good for the kids to encourage them to do what they like,” Samary Hernandez said.

Stratford resident Jessica Carey brought four-month-old daughter Rosie and five-year-old daughter Wren Jean-Jacques for a chance to get out on a warm day.

“It’s something to do on a Sunday,” she said. “To enjoy the sunshine and time with the family.”

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