ILWACO — The Ilwaco Saturday Market kicked off last weekend with big crowds and brisk business. It was the centerpiece of revamped May Day activities after covid and other factors interrupted the long-running Loyalty Day Weekend in Long Beach and Ilwaco.

Stands along the Ilwaco waterfront were greeted with favorable weather and eager customers seeking to purchase handmade crafts from local vendors.

“Lots of lookers and several sales,” reported first-year market participant Lawana Merchant, owner of ‘Beachytiques’.

Merchant was unsure whether there would be a demand for her antique bottles, some dates as old as 1875, that were first excavated from an old trash dump used by the Rio Grande Railroad near downtown Denver in the 90s and then fastened to wood.

Within a few hours at the market Merchant had her answer.

“We’re going to do it for the rest of the summer,” she said.

Longtime market participants reported similar success, and in some instances recorded a record sales day.

“It was the best opening day in the past eight years,” said Judy Jeffery, of Naselle, a market participant who has designed and produced handbags for the past decade.

‘Knotty and Knautical’ owner Lisa Gillespie, who produces custom wooden coasters, said the opening day was ‘excellent’ overall.

“The crowds are wonderful. It’s been as good as I’ve ever done on opening day,” Gillespie said.

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