The Echo Market ended the final day of its season Saturday, Oct. 2, as it had every other day throughout its inaugural year — with happy vendors, joyful attendees and one extremely busy organizer.
Teres Fair, Echo Market founder and organizer, rushed from one booth to another as she made sure everyone was satisfied. In the minutes before the market’s opening, she hardly had time to take a breath.
“I feel really good. We had a great season,” she said.
She, who also owns the Jack Correa Ranch, said she believes the market reached many vendors and visitors who will return next year. Likely, she said, they will spread the word of the market, thereby attracting even more people.
“The big story here is that big things can happen here,” Fair said. “We’re a small town with a big market.”
She also said several other people deserve credit for the community event and the vendors played a big part. Around 40 vendors operated Oct. 2 at the market, which attracted 350-400 attendees.
Mike Duffy, Echo Heritage Association president, expressed his amazement with Fair and the market. He said he was unsure about this event at its outset. Fair promised to “do what she could” with the market, Duffy said, and in the end Fair exceeded every expectation. Duffy said there is “every indication that it’s going to work again next year.”
Duffy, who has lived in Echo 22 years, said he expects the Echo Market will be his town’s signature event. He has seen events come and go, he said, but this one is different. In contrast to some other events, this market is linked to Echo’s identity as a small town. Having small sellers selling handmade or homegrown goods fits the small-town feel of Echo, Duffy said.
Also, he added, Fair, a local farmer, is the “perfect person” to host such an event. Her contacts, work ethic and passion for Echo all make her a terrific organizer, Duffy said.
Josh English, owner of Pendleton Woodcrafters, had been to six of the Echo Market events prior to the final one. Having only missed one of them, he said he really enjoyed his experience. In addition to selling his wood products, he also created games for children to play at the market.
He said he has already started trying to figure out items to make and sell at next year’s Echo Market.
“That’s what the off-season is for,” he said. He will return with new goods, he said. These woodcrafts will be items no one has ever seen before, he promised.
Haley Winters, flower seller at the market, started her booth around June, when her products began to bloom. She first became aware of the market from family members who were also attending. With the success they were enjoying, it made sense to Winters to also open a booth.
Winters operates a business, Seed and Trowel Flowers, out of her home. She said she enjoys this market, and she will come back next year.
“It’s been fun,” she said.
Ruben Harris has a larger farm in Echo, and he pulls three to five acres each year for farmer’s markets.
“We like it a lot,” he said of the Echo Market. The atmosphere makes it a pleasant home for his squash, pumpkins and other vegetables. He said he will return next year.
Shareana Pittam, owner of Simple Blessing Designs and Wooly Love Rabbitry, was operating two separate booths, one for each of her businesses.
“We love it, and we’re very popular here,” she said of her company’s participation at the market. Children in particular flock to her rabbits and guinea pigs so they can pet them. She said she plans to return next year.
Katie Munoz, a merchandizer for children’s clothes, also is a Hermiston resident. She owns Dot Dot Smile with Katie Munoz. She was at the market with children’s clothing for sale.
She has been to four of the Echo markets, as well as markets and events in Hermiston, Irrigon and Heppner. She likes the Echo Market.
“This is a fun one,” she said. “There’s always a lot of vendors, and I like the small-town feel.”
She said this is a fun, friendly market, and she plans to return next year.
Though Fair deemed this season a success, she said there is room for growth and next year will be bigger and better.