(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — September will mark the final month of the season for LEAF Open Markets at Frontier Park in Erie.

The final two markets will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept. 10 and Sept. 24. LEAF is a nonprofit that manages Frontier Park.

What started during the pandemic as a way to get people into the park and to spur some business for local vendors and growers, the Open Market has grown each year and is now an enduring event at the park. This season saw some 30 to 35 vendors setting up booths every other Saturday at the park.

“It’s bigger and bigger every year. Now we have artists and local craft vendors,” said Erin Green, the director of operations and marketing at LEAF. “It has evolved and changed since COVID. I even feel like this summer, every other Saturday, there are more people here and more vendors are still inquiring about wanting to set up.”

The market is funded through partnerships with the Erie County Department of Health and AHN St. Vincent. LEAF takes attendance throughout the summer to provide numbers to those funding partners. During the July 30 market, more than 800 people came to Frontier Park.

“We tend to stick to right around 800 or so folks,” Green said. The park’s location makes the larger event somewhat challenging. The park is located on West Eighth Street where parking is limited. “There are only so many parallel parking spots, so parking is a bit of an issue.”

This season, vendors parked at an area inside the park to leave room for on-street parking for visitors. Green said LEAF would continue to come up with additional parking solutions before next season. Still, even with challenging parking conditions, the markets have been well-attended.

And as summer becomes fall, visitors can expect additional autumnal goods from vendors. Tomatoes give way to apples and zucchinis give way to pumpkins.

“The produce evolves throughout the whole summer,” Green said. “The September markets are fun with lots of apples and pumpkins. Jewelry vendors have already been posting about their fall earrings. Keeping it fall themed for September will be fun.”

Though the pandemic is waning, there are no signs of waning enthusiasm for the market. More vendors have reached out to Green to get into the lineup. Attendance is steady. And LEAF is already planning for next season.

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“Next year will be even bigger and better, and we’re hoping we’ll accommodate more vendors for the Erie community to shop at,” Green said.