Outdoor MarketArkansas City will be host to an outdoor market next month at Wilson Park, courtesy of 1025 The River.

Two 1025 employees, Kelly Dillner and Suvanah Perdue, spoke with great enthusiasm about the event in an interview May 24. “We are so, so excited,” Dillner said.

The market will be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 18. It will be Cowley County’s first open-air market.

Dillner and Perdue already have plans for a second market day in September.

The idea of hosting an open-air market started with the unorthodox concept of bringing the citywide garage sale into one area of the city.

But the duo realized early on that it would be a difficult feat to accomplish, so it morphed into the outdoor market.

“This is what we want. It’s a combination of direct sales people, vintage and (more),” Dillner said.

There already are vendors signed up to sell jewelry, art, vintage pieces and homemade baked treats.

Perdue said there would be a tie-dye booth and an artist who makes pieces out of old license plates.

Dillner confirmed there also would be a self-defense class taught in the park during the event.

So far, there are around 25 vendors signed up to sell wares at the market and, if the event keeps growing, it might have to expand into the old hospital lot across Birch Avenue.

The event is modeled after the Old 54 Market in Augusta, which has taken place for several years.

In the first year of the Old 54 Market, the event had 10 vendors. “It gets bigger every day,” Dillner and Perdue said.

Many of the potential vendors who have been contacted had to turn down the opportunity, but they have shown interest in the fall market.

Each vendor will provide a giveaway item to be raffled off during the market. Those who attend the free event will be given tickets to win items that are contributed.

There also will be a contest for repurposed or refurbished items.

There is a $10 entry fee, but entrants do not need to have a booth.

Each entry must be accompanied by a “before” photo.

“People are excited about the contest,” Perdue said. “One guy from Norwich said, ‘You can just put my name on that prize.’”

Each vendor will have up to two votes for the pieces entered. The winner will receive a gift package.

Food vendors will be on site throughout the day.

Steamy Joe Coffee Shop and the Lions Club have confirmed their involvement in the event.

“We are still looking for food vendors,” Dillner said.

Anyone interested in having a booth at the market may email Dillner or Perdue at studio@1025theriver.com.