Imperial Market Days nearly Rained Out, but Vendors and Buyers Persevere


IMPERIAL — Vendors stowed away their tents as rain poured continuously until late Friday evening during the Imperial Market Days leaving behind a few brave entrepreneurs hoping to make some sales.

Vendor Denise Fannin had a stall with homemade garlands, headbands, woven wall hangings, some dream catchers and calligraphy signs hoping to sell and make profit.

But inclement weather, with temperatures in the low 50s and continuous rain for most of the day, had hindered vendors and shoppers alike, leaving empty vendor spaces and few customers along the blocked streets stretching from 7th to 9th streets.

“We just sold like two things,” said Fannin, “and the other vendors started to pack up. I don’t know if this weather was going to clear up not. So, we just want to cut our losses now and leave. There’s not a whole lot of people out tonight. I’ll save all may stuff for the next one.”

Organizer Ember Haller, who started her new position as community services director of the city of Imperial back in November of 2016, was optimistic that the rain would somehow slow down or simply stop. At least, during the duration of the event which was themed: “Take Flight”. Haller said, “Rain or shine, let’s have a good time.”

Meanwhile, city workers —wearing their reflective jackets— were busy removing soaked bales of hay that were placed near the food booths. They made sure everyone was safe and promptly made rounds with their service trucks and golf carts. Rainwater overflow drained well along the curbside. Businesses helped, in one way or another, to keep the event going. The San Diego-based Safety Orange band and their music equipment were relocated and accommodated by one of the businesses. Their music blared and competed with the patter of raindrops.

By 6:30 p.m. the rain slowed down and people began trickling in, visiting booths to purchase food such as kettle corn, tacos, coffee and corn.

Vendors Sonia Castañeda and her husband, Secundino, owners of Green Acres Street Corn, sold a variety of fresh corn snacks. Their popular one was corn cocktail, which is cooked and served Mexican style with Parmesan cheese and some other additional condiments.

“Even if sales were low,” Sonia Castañeda said, “we are here to show support for the city of Imperial.”

Haller was expecting more vendors for the rest of the weekend, however, she estimated only about 20 showed up for the event.