By Michelle Wagner | Outer Banks Voice on July 20, 2021
The inaugural First Flight Market took place on July 20 at Aviation Park and featured more than 20 vendors, live music, fresh produce, local art and plenty of family fun. The market – which included complimentary hamburgers and hot dogs offered by the Town of Kill Devil Hills – drew a steady stream of guests of all ages throughout the day as they strolled around the park and pond visiting tents.
There will be four more First Flight Markets this summer, with one held every Tuesday through August 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the park. Local support and interest for the Kill Devil Hills market grew earlier this summer based on the overwhelming success of the Dowdy Park Farmer’s Market in Nags Head, which first began in 2017, is being held this summer on Thursdays through September 9 and features more than 50 vendors.
“We are extremely pleased to launch this new opportunity for residents of Kill Devil Hills to come together with our neighbors and visitors in support of local artists and artisans,” said Mayor Ben Sproul. “Our hope is that friendships will be born, and relationships will deepen in our community, and this will enhance the quality of life for everyone who lives here.”
Nicole Spruill of Coastal Farmers’ Cooperative at obxlocalfood.com said she was excited about the new opportunity. Spruill is also one of the 57 vendors this summer at the Dowdy Park Farmer’s Market, but said she is thrilled to have a market in Kill Devil Hills as well. “This is a dream come true for me,” she declared. “It’s definitely something rewarding for the community. The town [employees] worked really hard to put this together to make a good, family event.”
Spruill said that many of the same vendors are also vendors at Dowdy Park, but there were new faces at the market as well. “Entrepreneurship is part of our culture,” she added, noting the presence of some vendors from Currituck and Elizabeth City. While saying that the Dowdy Park market is a wonderful event, she added, “I’m thinking the First Flight Market is going to be just as wonderful.”
The market featured everything from small businesses — like Currituck resident Melinda Kelley’s Oil+Salt which features bath bombs and spa products — to Kill Devil Hills Ocean Rescue personnel who were on hand to share water safety tips and recruitment opportunities.
Local young artists Charlotte Nultemeier and Eli Hannon, both of Kill Devil Hills, were also selling their art pieces. Nultemeier designed stickers of sea life and giving a portion of the sales to the N.C. Aquarium. As for Hannon, he had crafted potholders that were on display.