Perhaps even more than the cooling weather and pumpkin spice lattes, the Horseshoe Fall Market marks the beginning of autumn. And this year will be the biggest fall market yet, with 117 vendors selling everything from local crafts to antiques, mobile boutiques, a Halloween costume swap and other community-driven activities.
Amy Yetman started the Horseshoe Craft and Flea Market in 2010, out of a love for crafts and vintage shopping. Yetman, who used to have an online shop on Etsy, wanted to create a community experience. "I just thought it would be fun to do kind of a live Etsy, a place that you could find art, handmade and vintage. It was just a little dream," she says.
The dream became a reality when she contacted the Olinger Moore Howard Chapel after seeing possibilities in its huge parking lot. The owners were supportive of the idea of an outdoor market, and the Horseshoe Market was born -- in the parking lot of a funeral home. "People are kind of surprised by that," Yetman says. "But back in the day, funeral homes and mortuaries were like community gathering spaces."
Yetman is introducing some new elements to the market that will make it even more of a gathering place. "I always wanted it to be about community," she explains. "This year we wanted to strengthen that." So the Horseshoe will host a Halloween costume swap, to insure that all children in the community have costumes.The idea came from the owners of Moore Howard. "They've always wanted to be more a part of the community. so they've loved having the Horseshoe because they don't want people to be intimidated by them," Yetman says.
Shoppers can bring a gently used costume, swap it for a different one, or just donate it. After the market, the remaining costumes will be donated to the Centennial School for Expeditionary Learning. "We just want all kids to have an opportunity to have a nice costume, and costumes are expensive," Yetman adds.
The new community craft space Share. Denver will be hosting a "Make and Take" craft booth for all ages; it's free to participate, and you get to take your creation home.
To further support the community, Horseshoe will also be organizing a donation effort for Colorado Flood Relief.
But aside from being a place where neighbors can come together, Horseshoe is a place where they can shop -- and there will be plenty of opportunities this year. Food trucks have always been a staple at the market, but for the first time there will mobile boutiques, including the Denver Fashion Truck, La Lovely Vintage and Brick and Mortar.
"We're super-excited, the fall market is always a favorite," Yetman says. "I think with the cooler weather and people bundling up, it's always a fun time."
The Horseshoe Fall Market will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, October 5, at the Olinger Moore Howard Chapel parking lot at 46th Avenue and Tennyson Street. For more information, visit the Horseshoe website.
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And watch for the Horseshoe Holiday Market on December 7 and 14 at the Denver Pavilions.