Craig Who says there's nowhere to go for local products?
Not Mary Pat Dunn, a Moffat County resident who works as the Hayden Heritage Museum curator and does a little work for the Museum of Northwest Colorado on the side.
Today is the first day of what will hopefully become the future, Dunn said.
Today is the first day of the Hayden Marketplace, a venue for local craft makers and Front Range forsakers to sell their wares.
Interested patrons will find it in downtown Hayden at 144 S. Walnut St. The Marketplace will run from noon to 7 p.m. from Dec. 17 to Dec. 23, and then again from Dec. 26 to Dec. 30.
Regular hours and days of operation will be established after the new year.
"It's just everything you could think of in the arts and artisans," Dunn said. "It's part of a double-edged sword to have a valuable local business and revitalize downtown Hayden."
A sword wielded by the Hayden Economic Commission, whose members want to see Hayden's Walnut Street become symbolic of rural West Colorado, Dunn said.
"A lot of these buildings date back to the 1890s," Dunn said. "It's a small-town downtown, and we're trying to have it become what it used to be - a representation of rural life on the Western Slope."
That heritage is reflected in the products.
There's paint, pottery and furniture, all made by local hands, Dunn said.
There's unfamiliar stuff, too, such as batik, a traditional eastern method of painting cloth.
"People are just going to find some really fine gifts," Dunn said.
All together, 26 artisans - from one side of the Yampa Valley to the other - will compete for holiday shoppers.
"Everyone there is from the Yampa Valley, from McCoy to Lay," Dunn said.
The Marketplace has room for three more memberships, which run a one-time, $100 membership fee and $60 each month for renting space, Dunn said.
Interested entrepreneurs can contact Ann Copeland at 276-3348.
Today is the Marketplace's soft opening, Dunn said. Marketplace planners expect to hold a Grand Opening in January.
But that doesn't mean today is only a trial run. There are hot drinks and cookies being prepared for the Marketplace's first day.
"There is such fire and such enthusiasm that all this happened in two months and it's going" down, Dunn said. "Everybody is ready and raring to go."