A variety of wildlife took over the Roy Rogers Esplanade this past Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon as BARKer Family Zoo visited the Main Street Portsmouth Farmers Market. With animals ranging from dwarf goats to the more exotic wallaby, children and adults alike were able to interact with the special guests and take plenty of memorable photos.
“The BARKer Family Zoo was made possible by support from the Scioto County Commissioners,” Joseph Pratt, Director of Main Street Portsmouth explained. “We were given support this year from the county to grow the market, which we’ve focused a lot of time on. We invested a good bit in marketing, but also a good chunk on events and programming to create more opportunities for the guests. We hope to not only continue this partnership next year, but focus a lot more on activities and promotional events to foster a fun and active atmosphere, because it seems to go over well.”
Pratt said he always has reservations when bringing in a new company, but was pleasantly surprised with BARKer Farms and their hands-on interaction with guests.
“I am always hesitant to do anything like this, because you don’t know who you’re hiring or what you’re signing up for, but everyone I reached out to who had hired BARKer Farms had nothing but glowing reviews,” Pratt explained. “I can agree with everything I heard. The Barkers were very warm and welcoming to everyone who came for a visit, they were very hands-on with the guests and animals, and they had a lot to teach the guests on the unique animals, their origins, and their needs. We were so thrilled with the experience that we are going to bring them in multiple times next summer, if funding allows.”
Although Main Street and their many events tend to bring in large crowds, Pratt and the vendors both were ecstatic with the volume of individuals who visited the Farmers Market on Saturday.
“We have many events on the esplanade and in downtown, bringing in thousands of guests a year,” Pratt said, ” but this was the busiest I have ever seen the esplanade. We had vendors and farmers very happy with the results, sales were definitely up, and the attitude about the market was very positive.”
Reach: Ivy Potter (740) 353-3101 Extension 1932