The Front Porch Market, started over a decade ago, will bring 20 local vendors to The Acre, the home of Dr. Chris and Rachel Riley, despite chances of rain.
Rachel Riley, instructor of psychology and host of the market, said the first market was at her home on Sayles Boulevard with only one vendor. This year, more than 20 vendors, ranging in age from 4 years old to “retirement” age, will participate.
“The Market’s identity has shifted over the years from ‘fancy flea market’ to reflect the opening of our home as a wedding and event venue,” Riley said. “Our family uses the event as an open house.”
About half of the vendors and all of the live music acts are ACU students, and the event is heavily advertised by students via social media. Vendors will sell custom clothing, holistic skin care, handmade jewelry, baked goods, wooden signage, hand-lettered art, weavings, vintage “good junk” and home decor.
“We love introducing the Big Country to new talent,” Riley said.
Riley’s mother-in-law and 11-year-old daughter, Susan and Alice Anne, respectively, have a booth called the B- ACRE- Y to sell baked goods and “Acre-Aid,” a lavender lemonade and mint tea concoction.
In addition, Lauren Gumm, freshman elementary education major from Abilene, will participate as a vendor for the first time with her company “Wear It to Share It.” Gumm started the company in October of 2018 selling screen printed t-shirts, homemade hair scarves and stickers.
Though she doesn’t keep track of the number of attendees, Riley said she expects over 300 people to shop despite a threat of rain. If the weather does not permit, the event will be postponed.
The event is free and open for people to bring a lunch, sit at the picnic tables, listen to music and hang out.
“It’s a great date or break from studying,” Riley said. “We really just want people to come out and ‘sit a spell.'”
The Riley family will take a break from hosting the event next year to focus on getting ready for a study abroad trip.