Tift Community Market faces struggles after January storm - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Tift Community Market faces struggles after January storm

Tift Community Market runs Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Source: WALB) Tift Community Market runs Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Source: WALB)
Kathleen Stroup is a vendor at the market. (Source: WALB) Kathleen Stroup is a vendor at the market. (Source: WALB)
Mark Thornhill has been part of the Market for the past 4 years. (Source: WALB) Mark Thornhill has been part of the Market for the past 4 years. (Source: WALB)
Stephen Brimberry is the Friends of Tift Park Chairman. (Source: WALB) Stephen Brimberry is the Friends of Tift Park Chairman. (Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

An Albany market is still hurting after the January Storms destroyed it's home base. 

Tift Community Market opened for the season in March, but in a new location. 

From jams and jellies, to flowers and even hand-made stationary, Tift Community Market has been a trademark in downtown Albany for the past four years. 

"It's an asset to the community and people really need to come out and support it," said Kathleen Stroup, a vendor at the market.

Some vendors, like Stroup joined the market last year, others joined when the market began in Tift Park.

Mark Thornhill is one of the vendors that has been with the market since the start.

"Overall we had good days, we had music, a lot of people who would come out just to see the park, look around, kill time in the mornings," said Thornhill.

In Tift Park, the market had an average of 75 vendors, selling and talking to hundreds of people every Saturday from March to October.

But after the storm blew through the park in January, the 100-year-old oak trees the market used to set up under, came crashing down. 

"It took away the beauty, but through a storm we are going to make it better," said Friends of Tift Park Chairman Stephen Brimberry.

Brimberry said during cleanup the market can't be in the park. It's now moved across the street in an office parking lot for the time being.

The only problem is, it only fits 30 vendors. 

"We just have to downsize because we don't have the space," said Brimberry.

Vendors said business was okay the first few weeks, but now they are struggling. 

"For a lot of these vendors, it's their livelihood to come out here and set up," said Thornhill. "So when you don't have the crowds, it impacts your income."

Still, vendors said they are patient and hopeful when they move back into the park, it will be bigger and better than ever before.

Brimberry said he's been working with the city to try and give the market a permanent location in the park. 

He and other vendors believe if the market could run every Saturday all year, it would thrive.

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