As winter gives way to spring, Milton business owners are looking to take advantage of the warmer climes to host a series of special events bringing together businesses with vendors.
Tour 684 was founded by Frantic Frets co-owner Mary Knight and Kristin Sinnott of Ogre’s Grove after Milton Farmers Market announced it would not hold markets in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The duo decided to form their own event to encourage people to frequent Milton businesses, both in and out of downtown, while promoting local farmers and vendors.
Events will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. on the first Friday of every month from May to October. The first tour will be held Friday, May 7.
Among the participating businesses are Brimming Horn Meadery, Broadkill Tattoo Company and Gallery, The Dough Bar, Frantic Frets, Fuel Automotive, Irish Eyes, King's Homemade Ice Cream, Lockwood Self Storage, Ogre’s Grove and Salon Milton.
Knight said the sellers will include farm vendors, craft vendors, jewelers, artists and musicians.
“Anyone local,” she said. “We want to shop and support local. We decided that by spreading this out among the town, we’d have more open space. It would be much safer for people, instead of congregating in one space. And it would help our businesses who don’t necessarily have any foot traffic during markets or festivals.”
Knight said food vendors would include food trucks and barbecue, and organizers are still taking applications for vendors. Should rain cancel a week, the tour would be moved to the following Friday, which Knight said would dovetail nicely with the town’s Second Saturdays.
Among those taking part is Fuel Automotive on Route 16.
Owner Herb Jenkins said, “I felt bad that the farmers market was canceled this year, so I wanted to try and help out. When they approached me with the idea, I thought it was awesome. We have the space, and the events that they do now with musicians I thought would be a good blend.”
Knight said there will be live music in some places, with the first performance on May 7 headlined by Lewes’ Sticky Notes. There is also a plan for open mic nights.
Sinnott said Ogre’s Grove will have different artists featured each month. Bethany Minner of Floofy Spartan will be around for the debut Friday.
Vendors will not be charged to take part in the event, although they must bring their own tents and contribute an item valued at $10 to be part of a gift basket that will be given away to a patron at the end of each month’s tour.
“I think it’s good for the town of Milton to get ourselves on the map. We’re hoping to get as many of the business owners involved as possible, so that instead of competing with each other, we’re working together,” said Knight.
For more information, visit @Tour684 on Facebook and Twitter, or @Tour684Milton on Instagram. Vendors wishing to take part should apply at tinyurl.com/tour684vendors.