Saturday Market offers local flavor

by John Locanthi

EUGENE, Ore. – Hundreds gather at 8th & Oak every Saturday from April to Thanksgiving to browse local wares and soak in Eugene’s unique oeuvre at the Saturday Market.

Begun in 1970, the Eugene Saturday Market offers live music, an eclectic collection of foods, fresh produce, clothing and artwork produced by local merchants.

“This is a great, inexpensive venue to market your wares,” said Jeff McHarry, who sells wooden cribbage scoreboards.

McHarry has been selling his scoreboards, handcrafted painstakingly with Oregon woods, at the Saturday Market for three years. While he tries to set up his booth during the holiday market in December, this is the only market that he frequently sells at.

“Some of the other artisan markets are pretty expensive but this one is just right,” the

Cribbage scoreboards

hobbyist said.

The Saturday Market charges $40, $10 for every Saturday that a vendor sets up his or her booth, and 10 percent of the earnings.

The market is a haven for hobby businesses. One can find wooden flutes made by flautists, humorously decorated flasks, as well as paintings made by Eugene artists. McHarry has been making cribbage scoreboards for 15 years but didn’t try to make a business out of it until recently.

“I had a job that made me work on Saturdays up until I retired a few years ago,” McHarry said. “This has been a good way to spend my time.”

The Saturday Market also serves as an outlet for local charities.

Right behind the information kiosk, there is a booth for the Oregon Vagabond. The Vagabond is a small paper written by the homeless with an interest in increasing awareness of their plight. Herman Saathoff has been distributing the paper since its first issue in February of this year.

Saathoff at the Oregon Vagaband booth

“It’s a great way to read things from everyday people,” Saathoff said. “You see these people everywhere you go, every day of the week.”

“I give it out for free half the time,” added Saathoff, who writes articles under the pen-name Cowboy.

The Saturday Market offers the attendees a wide range of wares, services, live music, and a true taste of Eugene culture.

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