Jawbone Park
Jawbone Park / My Buckhannon file photo

Really Really Free Market set to return to Jawbone Park in August

BUCKHANNON – The Really Really Free Market will make its return Aug. 7 in Jawbone Park.

Andrew Phipps, a founding member of the Really Really Free Market, attended the June 24 Buckhannon Consolidated Public Works Board meeting to request usage of Jawbone Park for the event.

“I’m here to get the Really Really Free Market going again in Jawbone,” Phipps said. “Folks have expressed interest in that. It’ll be our 12th event — we haven’t done it quarterly, super consistently, but that’s what we’ve always strived for. The pandemic ground things to a halt.”

Phipps explained that the market is open to anyone.

“Everything is freely given — all kinds of goods, you never really know what’s going to show up, it can be a gold mine,” Phipps said. “There are lots of services. People will just show up and offer things like face painting for kids, we’ve had people repair bikes and clothes, we even had a lawyer come and do pro bono stuff for us. Daya Masada Wright came down and helped people set up wills, which is something lots of people put off. She got all kinds of people to get that started, so that was really neat.”

Traditionally, there would be a potluck at the end of the event, but they will be skipping that for now because of COVID-19 — and will instead encourage participants to bring a meal with them.

“It’s for anybody who shows up,” Phipps said. “It’s very informal and that’s worked great for us.”

Board member Pam Bucklew asked if there would need to be any cleanup after the market.

“We always try to pick up any trash we see,” Phipps said. “I think every time we’ve done it, we’ve left the park a little cleaner than when we arrived. One drawback is that sometimes people will show up with things they want to give away, and occasionally someone will just walk off and leave it there, so anything that’s left behind we take to the Parish House or some group that will accept it.”

In other Consolidated Public Works Board news, the board approved an event request for the Faith Tabernacle Youth Rally at Jawbone Park on July 7, 2021 and the use of the sound system at the park if they can provide a city-approved sound engineer.

Amberle Jenkins, finance and administration director for the City of Buckhannon, said she understands groups want to use the sound system at Jawbone, but it was a big investment for the city and only knowledgeable individuals should operate it.

“We have a lot of money in that sound system, and we need to develop some sort of policy,” Jenkins said. “We need to protect that sound system.”

Mayor Robbie Skinner said the city event request form needs to undergo an adjustment now that the COVID-19 regulations have eased and that would be a good time to add a new stipulation for the sound system.

“We need to revise our event request form a little bit as we exit out of COVID,” Skinner said. “Why don’t we add a section in there stating that if sound is requested, then there’s a body of things that we need to have answered from the event requester, and there’s a line in there that states, ‘In order to be approved for sound, you need to have document or something from Rodney [Irvin with Irvin & Toedt LLC] saying that he can do it for that date.’”

City recorder and information coordinator Randy Sanders said they would need to discuss the idea with Irvin.

“We need to let him set his own price for groups looking to hire him,” Sanders said. “I don’t know Rodney’s business and I don’t pretend to, but he may get tired of running up here for $100 at a time, or he may be thrilled, I don’t know.”

Skinner said the request form would not always have to be the same person, but someone the city can verify has knowledge of the sound system.

“They have to have some verification if they want sound,” Skinner said. “They have to fill some things out, and they have to give us proof there is somebody from that company that is going to be available on that date before we can approve the request.”

The board approved the event request on the condition they can prove they have a city-approved sound engineer for the event.

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