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Outdoor market gets longer season

Profile image for By John D. Harden / Staff Writer
By John D. Harden / Staff Writer

Efforts to extend the Denton Community Market’s season have helped convince Denton City Council members to vote in favor of adopting an ordinance that extends the season from six months to nine.

The extension means the market will open earlier in the spring and end later in the fall. City Council members said they have taken notice of the growth of the market and how it has evolved over the years with the addition of a variety of vendors.

“When it first started out, there were only a few cars,” said Jim Engelbrecht, District 3 council member. “Now there’s virtually no space out there and it’s always packed.”

The market opens on Saturdays and is located on the southeast corner of Mulberry Street and Carroll Boulevard. The market offers local products such as jams, honey, baked goods, crafts and clothing.

“It’s a very unique feature to the city,” said Dalton Gregory, District 2 council member. “All of the food is local and there have been times where I’ve had completely Denton County meals.”

Discussions about extending the market’s season began a year ago when market organizers expressed interest in adding more food vendors, including food trucks. At that time, existing city ordinances did not allow food trucks to park for longer than 15 minutes.

As a result, the city amended the ordinance to allow the trucks to operate in a less restricted manner, said city planning supervisor Ron Menguita.

However, the duration of the market was not addressed, and organizers met with city officials, seeking clarity regarding permit durations. That resulted in the discussions that led to changing market permit durations.

Vicki Oppenheim, a Denton Community Market coordinator, said she’s happy about the extension and added that it will help the market maintain its mission.

“This year has just been incredible,” she said. “We have more and more businesses joining us, and most of them are local businesses.”

She said market coordinators are appreciative of the city and county’s support.

“We anticipate further growth and eventually we may have to begin looking at another space, but right now we’re doing well,” Oppenheim said.

The Denton Community Market launched in April 2010, and officials call the market a celebration of Denton’s creativity and an expression of what the city represents.

“Denton’s historical center has been the agricultural market. It’s a wonderful element to our city,” Mayor Mark Burroughs said. “[It makes] you proud that your city hasn’t grown too big to appreciate local farmers, local growers and local vendors.”

The City Council also approved a resolution to name the Downtown Denton Transit Center after former Mayor Euline Brock. The name change takes place immediately, and official signage and plaques will be installed.

The center officially will be the Euline Brock Downtown Denton Transit Center.

Brock served on the City Council from 1992 to 1998 and as mayor from 2000 to 2006.

City officials credit Brock with the transformation of Denton and its downtown Square.

Mayor Pro Tem Pete Kamp said most of the recent developments that are still occurring in Denton are because of Brock.

Kamp referred to Brock as a visionary who was passionate about the city and demonstrated that passion while she was on the council.

Brock said that it’s an honor that her name will be associated with the transit center because of the significance it holds for her.

“I appreciate this great honor,” Brock said. “Downtown and transit have really been my public life, and I really believed in them for 20 years or more.”

JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882 and via Twitter at @JDHarden.