Approximately 10,000 attend Market Days

by Sherry Hamilton - Posted on Sep 14, 2011 - 03:42 PM

Photo: Mathews painter Gib Pulley, right, was one of many artists whose work was on display this past weekend during Mathews Market Days. Here, she chats with local resident Brooke Tiller, left, and her children, Sara and Matthew. Sara purchased her first painting from Pulley. Photo by Sherry Hamilton.

Mathews painter Gib Pulley, right, was one of many artists whose work was on display this past weekend during Mathews Market Days. Here, she chats with local resident Brooke Tiller, left, and her children, Sara and Matthew. Sara purchased her first painting from Pulley. Photo by Sherry Hamilton.

Photo: Elva Gerlach, left, was recognized by Mathews Market Days Committee chairman Art Dubey for being the oldest vendor at the festival. Now 98 years old, Gerlach has participated in Market Days for over 30 years. Photo by Sherry Hamilton.

Elva Gerlach, left, was recognized by Mathews Market Days Committee chairman Art Dubey for being the oldest vendor at the festival. Now 98 years old, Gerlach has participated in Market Days for over 30 years. Photo by Sherry Hamilton.

The 37th annual Mathews Market Days was a success in spite of a Friday morning downpour that had vendors scurrying to cover their wares. But the rains came and went fast, said committee member Trudy Flippin, and the sun was out for both days. She estimated that 10,000 people attended the two-day festival.

"Friday started off slow and relaxing," Flippin said, "with Saturday being the busiest day."

The Market Days Committee gave out $7,500 in grants to nine local organizations during opening ceremonies, and Market Days Committee chairman Art Dubey recognized Elva Gerlach, 98, for being the oldest vendor in Mathews Market Days. She has participated in the festival for more than 30 years.

Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Montross), state Sen. Ralph Northam (D-Norfolk) and retiring Del. Harvey Morgan (R-Middlesex) all took turns addressing the larger-than-usual Saturday morning crowd, but Morgan’s address received the warmest applause. Morgan said when he began his "first foray into politics" in 1979, "Mathews particularly embraced me.

"My roots are here," he said. "You all gave me such a feeling of confidence and assurance, it made my job easier."