In an effort to help revitalize downtown Dadeville, Pennington Park owners Kurt and Leigh Pfitzner have reached out to local produce growers and vendors and hosted Dadeville’s first-ever Farmers Marketplace on July 12.
The market had 15 vendors, two of which were food trucks. The well-advertised event saw almost 500 local residents flow through the park despite being shut down early as a result of a fast-moving thunderstorm. For this week, the Pfitzners have booked 20 vendors, the maximum they’ll allow on the park.
“It’s important to us that our vendors are profitable so we are limiting the number of booths. Also, we are trying to ensure we have a greater variety of produce not just rows of tomatoes,” Kurt Pfitzner said. “We also allow a couple of baked-good vendors and a craft vendor or two. At our first market all our sellers had a great day and we want to ensure it stays that way.”
In addition to the vendors, the Pfitzners had live music on the pavilion stage throughout the day.
“While the live music is contingent on the availability of musicians, we will have music whether it’s piped in or live,” Leigh said. “The park needs to be a place you can stop and relax for a while, have some lunch and enjoy your time.”
Following the July 12 event, local social media sites were filled with positive comments and interest in the next market.
“We are thrilled to be able to give back to Dadeville after being so warmly welcomed when we moved here full time in 2014,” Leigh said.
The Pfitzners purchased the property located at 121 N. Spring Street across from the Dadeville Post Office in 2018. At the time it was a simple 2-acre property dotted by large pecan trees. Their idea was to bring a wide variety of music, art and community events to downtown Dadeville in an effort to spur revitalization and interest and capitalize on the new road resurfacing project. To make that happen and with the help of several residents and the Dadeville Beautification Board, the Pfitzners built a pavilion, planted flowers and relocated crepe myrtles from downtown to the park.
“It’s been a long road so far but things are starting to come together,” Kurt Pfitzner said. “We had plans for more events, but the COVID-19 put the brakes on and we needed to reevaluate our goals for the year.”
Since purchasing the property, the Pfitzners have sponsored several “Gospel on the Green” events where musicians who normally play in smaller intimate settings can play to larger audiences. Additionally, they decorated the park with thousands of Christmas lights and decorations during the 2019 Christmas season. This year appears to be much of the same.
“Following Christmas last year, Kurt and I went to Lowes and bought them out of Christmas lights on sale. I think we got about 6,000 more for the park and hope to be able to make it a memorable Christmas in the Park,” said Leigh.