WARSAW — Downtown was busy Saturday as vendors set up shop on the sidewalk and in the park, sitting underneath tents as people walked by browsing what they had to offer.

Even though many summer events were canceled this year due to COVID-19 concerns, the Warsaw Valley Fest was not among them. Warsaw Chamber of Commerce members walked through the streets, handing out masks and hand sanitizer to anybody who needed them, and garage and sales popped up throughout the village.

On Saturday there was even a Kid’s Drive-Thru Bike Parade where children could decorate themselves and their bike, and drive through Liberty Way to collect goodie bags.

Ginny Gay was one of the people who were hosting yard sales, setting up shop at the flea market near the Main Street monument at the behest of her friend, Lisa Seewaldt. In years past she had sold photographs by the movie theater, but this was the first year the flea market had come into being.

“This year it’s nice being able to see people and say hello,” she said.

Veronica Franclemont, a direct sales seller for Lilla Rose, said it was great to be able to get out. She said she understands why other festivals and events have been cancelled this year, but was glad that the Warsaw Valley Fest wasn’t.

“This is my hometown,” she said. “Doing this festival is me coming home.”

Jennifer Young, owner of Earthly Healing, said the Warsaw Chamber of Commerce tries to listen to the feedback given each year. At the end of the festival, there are surveys she said, and the organizers make changes based on what those surveys say.

The Warsaw Valley Fest was established in 2013 with a mix of sales, food, entertainment and activities. This year’s event had started Thursday.

“I’m really glad the community is supporting us still,” Young said. “It’s nice to see people come out.”

Johnson Newspapers 7.1