Sanger business owner and longtime resident Brenda Houchin-Childress wants more people to see what her city’s downtown has to offer, so she’s helped organize the first-ever Sanger Trade Day this Saturday.
“I’ve got memories as a teen enjoying hanging out on the square,” she said. “I don’t want to see it turn into a ghost town. ... We have a lot to offer here.”
Houchin-Childress, who refers to herself as an “original Sanger resident,” is determined to help others create memories like she has.
Sponsored by the recently relaunched Sanger Downtown Association, the event will feature dozens of vendors on the square from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in an effort to draw more people to the area, event organizers said.
Vendors will offer an array of products ranging from health and beauty items to antiques. With the exception of a booth from the nonprofit downtown association selling hot dogs and other snacks, no food vendors will be allowed in an effort to encourage visitors to visit downtown restaurants.
“The whole reason for the event is to get people to the square,” said Houchin-Childress, owner of Bebe’s House, a boutique on North Fourth Street. “Downtown businesses will also host booths at the event, so people get a chance to see what they have to offer inside their shops. ... We might even offer special discounts to those who come into the stores at a later time.”
Joseph Iliff, director of development services for the city of Sanger, is the liaison between the city and the downtown development group.
“A lot of things that we hear from customers of businesses downtown is that they are surprised a particular business is down here. They know one business but not what’s on the next block or around the corner,” Iliff said. “So the Trade Day will bring people down here to see what else is available.”
Iliff hopes that those who attend will like what they find downtown and return.
“You have to wait for dinner? Shop at this store while you’re waiting. You’re hungry after visiting some of the stores downtown? Well, grab some lunch at this restaurant,” Iliff said.
In addition to offering a face painter for the children, the Sanger Public Library is kicking off its summer reading program the same day and will feature an ice cream social in the park from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Library director Audrey Tolle said she hopes they don’t run out of ice cream too fast, but she is excited at the opportunity to get more children to sign up.
Houchin-Childress said the city has approved the use of the gazebo and she is looking for any Denton County musicians who might want to showcase their work and sell CDs at the event.
Organizers are hoping this is just one of several Trade Day events to come.
Vendor spaces are still available until this evening, association members said, and a 10-by-20-foot space costs $30. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 940-453-6243. In addition, the association has applications on hand at Bebe’s House, 2nd Chance Resale at 308 Bolivar St. and Findings at 210 Bolivar St.
All proceeds from the event will go back into bettering the community, organizers said.
Adam Schrader contributed to this report.
MEGAN GRAY can be reached at 940-566-6885 and via Twitter at @MGrayNews.