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Philip Chamber of Commerce members enthusiastic about possible farmers' market

The main presentation during the Monday, June 9, meeting of the Philip Chamber of Commerce was a promotion for a possible future farmers' market.

Christine Andrus has already gotten the Philip City Council to waive any peddlers' licenses concerning the event that is proposed for Saturdays from July 1 through August 31 at the Fire Hall Park. The council's only concern was reminding vendors that sales tax is still required. An informational meeting is set for 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 21, at the Bad River Senior Center to exchange information with all citizens and especially possible venders.

Andrus, who has relatives in Philip, said, "I have been coming here for 20 years. It's a haven for me and I would like to contribute to the community." She is offering to donate time and research toward starting a farmers' market, with the hope that it catches on and continues as a "great community event that is meant to bring people together and get people to participate," she said.

"The Fire Hall Park would offer plenty of room, plenty of parking and would be right in downtown Philip for shopping," Andrus said. "You can't buy everything you need at a farmers' market. It will, in the long run, bring extra revenue to the grocery store and all the businesses in the area. It may give Philip area people reason to not go out of the area to shop on Saturdays, a usually slow day for Philip businesses. Citizens could save money during these current gas prices."

Andrus said that she did not want this to be her project. She would only do it if everyone was behind her. Members of the chamber liked the idea and voiced that it would be different from a craft fair or a bizarre in that it would be on a regular basis. Local vendors could bring various produce of farm and garden items. They could bring crafts such as quilts, baked goods and canned goods. "Kind of whatever you have," suggested Andrus. "Once it catches on, it can give people the opportunity to show their talents. It's going to be a wonderful, positive thing and a little bit of a free-for-all the first year. Everybody benefits. Maybe it should be made smaller in its initial year, until it does catch on and it can grow in the future."

In other chamber business, the audience was updated on the Matched Bronc Ride on Friday, June 20. (See related news story.)

The chamber also heard the increasing plans for Philip Festival Days on August 1 and 2. The National Guard will supply inflatable games such as an obstacle course and basketball and football toss games. There will also be a chamber-sponsored dance on Friday evening. A five-kilometer walk/run is also being looked into.

The chamber is looking into having miniature bull riding for children ages eight to 14. Gus Aus of New Underwood is trying to get interest started in his miniature brahma bulls, and has offered them and most required gear for a free promotional event. Insurance and other facets will be confirmed.

Other chamber business included an update on the Horizons project. The next Chamber of Commerce meeting will coincide with and be part of Philip's graduation party from Horizons with a celebration of community spirit. On Monday, July 14, at 7:00 p.m. there will be a free ice-cream social at the Fire Hall Park. It is an open invitation for all organizations to display a poster emphasizing the importance of that organization to the community. It will also be a time for groups to enlist volunteers. One organization will win a monetary donation, chosen by lottery, for attending.

During the celebration, the community of Philip will also receive a grant check from Horizons, along with a laptop computer and printer for the library. Philip representatives for Horizons, Diane Fitch and Mary Burnett, encouraged everyone to bring their lawn chairs and share in the fun.