It was the first day of the Market on the Green in Whitehall, and little Trout was just soaking up the attention.
A line of people had formed to see Trout, an African black-footed penguin, brought for exhibition by representatives of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
“They all have their own personalities but Trout is always one who likes to come out and meet people,” said Emily Yunker, an animal programs specialist at the zoo.
People trickled in to take advantage of fresh produce, honey, arts and crafts, food-truck fare and other merchandise provided by the 18 vendors at the event.
The market is scheduled from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Aug. 31.
Shana Scott, owner of Iridescent Designs Jewelry, brought her repurposed, repaired and upcycled wares to the market.
“I am very happy with the interest,” said Scott, whose home business is based in Whitehall. “The setup was organized but relaxed. The crowd seems vibrant.”
Sharon Pantelis was strolling around, sipping a beer, made available through the Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area, which allows people to consume adult beverages in the park on select occasions.
Pantelis, a member of the Mid-East Area Commission, which represents neighborhoods in east Columbus, said she was meeting friends later in the evening.
She said she’s impressed by the progress made at the corner of Hamilton Road and Broad streets, where Norton Crossing, a mixed-use development, and Kelley Green are located.
“I was so happy,” she said. “I remember this awful, blighted corner.”
Michael Williams of Whitehall bought some honey at Durham Bees based in London.
“So far so good,” Williams said. “We came here to eat, too.”
Jessica Dunham, who owns the business, which specializes in spring, summer and fall honey harvested from their own hives, said she looks forward to the new surroundings.
“It’s been great and I’m excited to come back all summer,” she said.
The Kelley Green park offers an open green area, oversized Jenga-style puzzles, cornhole games and a stage where J.T. Hillier was about to perform his acoustic pop cover songs.
“It’s kind of nice to check out a new area,” said Hillier, who added that performs out in clubs frequently.
About 500 guests were expected to attend the market’s debut, said Megan Meyer, spokeswoman for the city of Whitehall.
“We just wanted to be part of this first farmers market,” said Susan Fisher, owner of Knosh Columbus, a home-based bakery in Clintonville. “It seems to be a good thing.”