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Butler’s night markets kick off summer season

Maddox Weltner, 5, gives a cookie to a customer at the lemonade stand he set up for Foodie Friday in downtown Butler on Friday, May 17. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle

The First Foodie Friday of the year kicked off May 17 in downtown Butler beneath scattered showers and an overcast sky, with the first Moon Market of the season bringing in artisans and local vendors just a step away on Main Street.

Sky Cornell, of Butler, brought her kitten, Cass, along for the trip, holding him as she ordered from the Pittsburgh Coffee Company food truck.

Normally, Cornell said she would prefer staying in. Friday marked her first time at the outdoor event.

“I went straight for the coffee to start with,” Cornell said. “I’m a big caffeineaholic.”

Cass, an emotional support kitten, helps relieve some of Cornell’s stress about going out and attending events, she said.

“I’m out and about today doing things,” Cornell said. “I wouldn’t have left (home) before (Cass) ... he helps calm my anxiety and makes me want to go out.”

Ninteen-year-old Slippery Rock University student Cheyenne Howe and her friends, Zane Huff and AJ Jordan, of Slippery Rock, had gathered near the coffee food truck earlier.

“It’s good for people,” Jordan said about Foodie Fridays. “It brings them together.”

Farther south on Main Street, the first of this summer’s Moon Markets was unfolding.

When her mother, April Gamble, stepped away from the vendor booth, Ayla, 12, of Slippery Rock, helped answer questions about the variety of handmade items, ranging from colorful sun catchers to crystal necklaces sold at their local business, Fairy Gifted Trinkets.

Across from the business’ tent, Pittsburgh-based oddity shop The Weeping Glass displayed its various tea blends to customers.

Amanda Patton blends the teas sold at the Allentown shop owned by Kelly Braden. The different teas, from a dark Black Pu-Ehr, to a floral blend incorporating lavender, complement the shop’s gothic, quasi-Victorian theme.

From crystals to homemade mead, the eclectic assortment of vendors and artisans displaying their crafts, edible goods and homewares had a naturalist, witchy atmosphere that was echoed by the Dancing Witches of Emlenton, who performed a dance routine for passerby.

Butler Area Senior High School students Charlie Kerner, 14, and Mara Szurek, 17, walked past the Moon Market to Foodie Fridays and said they want to see more outdoor events and recreational opportunities for young people this summer.

“There’s a random chance to meet people and ... to get your friends out and do stuff,” Mara said.

Faith Blasco, 19, of Mars, said outdoor events are another opportunity for people to get off their phones.

Kira and Jacob Lavrich, who moved to Butler two years ago, said they love to participate in happenings around Main Street.

The couple has all the dates of Foodie Fridays saved on Facebook, Kira Lavrich said, and plans to attend the next round of events.

“We live here in town, and it’s just within walking distance for us, which is nice,” Jacob Lavrich said.

Juniper, 11, left, April and Ayla, 12, Gamble all from Fairy Gifted Trinkets and Treasures were one of the vendors at the Moon Market on Friday, May 17. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle
Juniper, 11, left, and Ayla, 12, Gamble man their table, Fairy Gifted Trinkets and Treasures, at the Moon Market on Friday, May 17. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle
Maddox Weltner, 5, makes a flavored lemonade with the aid of his grandmother Loretta Crawford for a customer as part of his lemonade stand set up for Foodie Friday in downtown Butler on Friday, May 17. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle
Braxton Gasdia, 5, eats a hot dog at Foodie Friday in downtown Butler on Friday, May 17. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle
Braxton Gasdia, 5, eats a hot dog at Foodie Friday in downtown Butler on Friday, May 17. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle
Braxton Gasdia, 5, eats a hot dog at Foodie Friday in downtown Butler on Friday, May 17. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle
Maddox Weltner, 5, gives a lemonade to a customer at his lemonade stand he set up for Foodie Friday in downtown Butler on Friday, May 17. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle
Juniper Gamble, 11, with the Fairy Gifted Trinkets and Treasures vendor, rearranges necklaces during the Moon Market in downtown Butler on Friday, May 17. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle
Maddox Weltner, 5, makes a flavored lemonade for a customer at the lemonade stand he set up for Foodie Friday in downtown Butler on Friday, May 17. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle
Maddox Weltner, 5, and his grandmother Loretta Crawford had a lemonade stand at Foodie Friday in downtown Butler where he made lemonade and handed out cookies for kindness on Friday, May 17. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle
Braxton Gasdia, 5, eats a hot dog at Foodie Friday in downtown Butler on Friday, May 17. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle
Maddox Weltner, 5, and his grandmother Loretta Crawford had a lemonade stand at Foodie Friday in downtown Butler where he made lemonade and handed out cookies for kindness on Friday, May 17. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle
The first Foodie Friday of the year took place in downtown Butler on Friday, May 17. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle
Juniper Gamble, 11, with the Fairy Gifted Trinkets and Treasures vendor, rearranges necklaces during the Moon Market in downtown Butler on Friday, May 17. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle
Kathy White, left, and mom Tammy Kudamik participated in a mental health awareness walk on their way to the Foodie Friday and Moon Market event in downtown Butler on Friday, May 17. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle

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