Imperial Market Days spotlights young entrepreneurs




IMPERIAL – Imperial held their monthly Market Days Saturday at Eager Park in Imperial which attracted hundreds of hungry people to sample the vendors who competed in the Tri-Tip contest and to peruse the many goods offered by the more than 120 booths.

The savory scent of cooking tri-tip more than enticed the long lines at each booth offering their best-seasoned version, with many vendors running out of meat early.

Along with the food booth and craft booths were the tables allayed with leeks, lettuce, broccoli, asparagus, and other fresh from the field produce. At one busy table, Imperial High junior Dayton Alford quickly tallied up produce sales, handed change back, and easily conversed with his next customer.

The Imperial Tiger defensive tackle has been selling at Imperial’s Market Days since the first of the season. His foray into the turbulent produce market has been aided by his father, Don Alford.

“I sell him vegetables from Altar Produce and he rounds up more from other places, then he has to come here, set up the booth, set prices and figure out his profit,” said Don Alford.

One difference, though, than other for – profit vendors, Dayton’s earnings are donated to the Imperial Tigers Football team to help meet their needs.

“We clear about $100 each time, and that’s what we can donate to the team,” Dayton Alford said.

Helping the young entrepreneur are fellow Imperial Tiger fans Tammy Derrick and Jana Alford.

Taking a moment to talk football, Dayton said, “As a senior, I’ll be playing in Division 1 with our team for the first time.  We will do fine. We will be ready.”

The charitable giving idea started with their friend, Samantha Rodriquez. She began Operation Warm Hugs in Niland where she supplied winter clothing for those in need over the holiday season.

Now Dayton carries on the tradition of giving back.

Added Dayton’s father, “Altar Produce knows the profit all goes to the Imperial Tiger football program, so they donate produce too, maintaining the giving spirit.”

Gracie Havermale, organizer of the event for the City of Imperial, was quite pleased with the turnout, the quality of goods at the many booths, and the tri-tip dinner ticket sales.

“Our next one will be great too. Market Days is teaming up with a car show. I am so proud of our sponsors who help to make this happen. It is great for the City of Imperial.”


tri tip cook off placing