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Community rallies support for 'Belding Beatnik Bazaar'

belding beatnik bazaar.jpeg
Posted at 3:16 PM, Feb 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-18 15:30:50-05

BELDING, Mich. — A dream that faced public discouragement is blossoming in downtown Belding thanks to the growing support of so many community members.

“I went to the city, at that time they were like ah, I don’t think Belding is going to support this,” said Jenny Bennett, the director of the 'Belding Beatnik Bazaar,' a once-a-month artisan and farmers market hosted in the Gathering Space of downtown Belding. She says he proposed the idea to the city 7 years ago.

Bennett went on with her idea anyway. It started out with 10-12 vendors in the parking lot of a local hardware store. For Bennett, one thing is for certain: it's not her market; It's for the people of the Belding community.

Last summer, the city asked Bennett to get liability insurance. She understood why it was necessary, but it added another hoop to jump through.

This year, the city asked Bennett's market to follow a specific map, become a 501-3C, and pay $200 for the space for the summer. She wasn't sure if it was worth the hassle to continue to host it in Belding. Until she asked the community what they wanted.

“The city was throwing some stipulations at us, and I was asking, do you want us to fight to have the market here?” Bennett said.

At this week's City Council meeting, Bennett says the house was packed with supporters of the Beatnik Bazaar. The city and market organizers worked out an agreement, and the market will go on this summer as planned.

“It brings a lot of people here to Belding,” Bennett said.

The market is open the second Saturday of the month and runs June-October.

“All of the area businesses tell me, market day is usually their best day of the month,” Bennett said.