IN THE RAIN

A little rain never hurt anybody.

It didn’t stop a few downtown Seymour businesses from setting up merchandise outside for Seymour Main Street’s first Sidewalk Saturday event of the year. The ones who participated either already have an overhang on the front of their business or set up tents to keep the rain off of merchandise.

Seymour Main Street also had its art exhibit, featuring the Silver Sandhills of Seymour origami sandhill cranes piece, open in the Knights of Pythias building, 103 N. Chestnut St.

Union Hardware, 116 S. Chestnut St., had plants and flowers, Adirondack chairs and Holland Grill models on display on the sidewalk in front of the store.

Ben Thacker, a Holland Grill demonstrator, didn’t let rain hold him back from cooking up sausage biscuits, pork loin, chicken legs and pizza on a propane grill.

Fred Moritz, president of Union Hardware, said on rainy days like Saturday, having the overhang in front of the business was a plus.

“Rain doesn’t slow us down. We just keep on cooking,” he said with a smile.

He had advertised the event, too, so it had to go on.

“If we say we’re going to do it, we’re going to do it,” he said. “It gives an opportunity for people to come down and find some great bargains and just to get downtown to see what’s downtown. A lot has changed. There are new restaurants in town. There’s an art gallery display going on at the Knights of Pythias building that’s a fantastic display. People ought to come down and see it because it’s quite a show, and it’s pretty big-time for Seymour.”

Thacker said it was the perfect time to demonstrate the grill with Father’s Day being celebrated Sunday and the Fourth of July coming up.

He said the Holland brand, which originates in Georgia, is “the last grill you’ll ever buy.”

“It’s that well-made, that well-loved,” Thacker said. “It’s not going to rust out and corrode in a few years. It’s going to give you years and years of quality.”

Also, he said, it’s the only manufactured propane grill that’s guaranteed not to flare up while you’re grilling. There is a lifetime warranty on the burner and crisscross cooking grid.

“Because of the design, the grease and juice do not hit the flame. It’s separate, and so it gives you very good grilling, very safe grilling, cooks your food very well and thorough,” Thacker said.

Thacker said Union Hardware is one of the biggest dealers of Holland Grill in the state, and the company is committed to small retail stores.

“You won’t find Holland Grills in big-box stores. They’ll carry six or seven lines, but yet their employees know nothing about it,” he said. “Here, all of the employees have been instructed on the grill, they know about the grill, they know the warranty, the manufacturer and how well it cooks. Most of them are Holland owners, so that goes a long way in being able to tell the customer exactly how it works when they own one themselves.”

Moritz said he sells a lot of the grills to people in the area.

“Once people have them, they’ll never cook on anything else,” he said. “The grills are the big push today, to have people come by and sample the food, see how the grill works, see that the grills don’t flare up. It’s the only grill that puts it in writing that it’s guaranteed not to flare up, so it’s a great grill, and we really like to show that thing off.”

Thacker also recently demonstrated the grills during Seymour Main Street’s Lawn, Garden and Patio Show, and he plans on returning to the city three more times this summer.

In a covered-over area in front of Picket Fence Antiques and Collectibles, 210 W. Second St., Sara Turnbull of Chicory Farm Soap had different scents of goat milk soap for sale.

Turnbull was in town from Bloomfield, New York, with her father and husband, who operate Turnbull Manufacturing, a firearm manufacturing company. They were down the street at Bite the Bullet for the gun shop’s grand opening.

Mark Hopkins of Bite the Bullet told Turnbull about the Sidewalk Saturday event and suggested she set up her products downtown.

“It’s just fun to meet new people,” Turnbull said. “I’m a little disappointed that there aren’t other vendors because that’s my favorite thing, is to see what other people do. But it has been great talking to the folks in Picket Fence. It’s always great to meet small-town people because I’m a small-town person.”

Turbull, whose goat farm is in the Bloomfield and Canandaigua area, said the soap is all natural with essential oils.

“Goat milk soap is great because it’s really moisturizing, good for your dry, itchy skin,” she said.

Turnbull’s product is sold in more than 50 stores around the country and in Nova Scotia, Canada. After Saturday’s event, the family was headed to a wholesale show in Dallas, Texas.

Down the street, Larry McDonald and his son, Matt, popped up a couple of canopies outside of This Old Guitar Specialty Music Store, 106 W. Second St. They offered a sale on a Fender guitar package, stickers for guitar cases and other items.

Larry McDonald said the plan was to have six people sit outside and play music, but the rain and wind prevented that from happening.

“The next one, we’ll have the music outside,” he said. “But for now, I was just so afraid that they’ll get wet, and I don’t want somebody sitting there playing in the rain.”

The McDonalds took the initiative to put the canopies up because they like participating in downtown events.

“If you bring something downtown, count me in,” Larry McDonald said. “I love the excitement of bringing stuff down here. It’s just the weather dampened it today, and it’s OK. It still was fun to do.”

The McDonalds also had planned on providing music at One Chamber Square, where there also was supposed to be food vendors and children’s activities.

Larry McDonald and Seymour Main Street President Julie Huff both said they hope for a dry day for the next Sidewalk Saturday, set for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 18.

“Hopefully without the tent,” McDonald said, laughing.

“We’re hoping for sunshine and lots of people,” Huff said. “We’re looking forward to everything being ramped up next time.”

If you go

Didn’t make it to the first Sidewalk Saturday event? Don’t worry. There are other opportunities to attend.

They are from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 18, Aug. 15, Sept. 19 and Oct. 17.

If you are interested in being a vendor, contact Soni Birch at Picket Fence Antiques and Collectibles, 210 W. Second St., Seymour, or call 812-498-8991.

For information, visit seymourmainstreet.org.

Author photo
Zach Spicer is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at zspicer@tribtown.com or 812-523-7080.