The Old Town Farm and Art Market was back and bigger than ever on Saturday for its opening day of 2022.

Organizers said a record 70 vendors participated. Local businesses were happy to talk to anyone who showed up.

“It’s just the most comforting feeling that having a job can be,” said Charity Overman, who runs Happy Tails Pet Bakery. “I mean, and you can pet their dogs.”

Overman has been a seller in the market for seven years. She said this is a great opportunity for the company.

“It’s nice to get out there, see your local business people, support them, because the money you spend here goes straight back into the community,” she said.

Happy Tails Pet Bakery sells gluten-free treats for dogs and cats. Overman said he had market regulars. She has been eagerly awaiting her return since December.

“It’s a very isolating job, working from home and running your own business, because like…you don’t have a storefront or anything,” Overman said.

It wasn’t just the first day of the market. Saturday marked artist Tania Pemar’s first time as a seller.

“I love coming here,” she said. “So for me, I thought it was a great idea to be part of the market.”

Pemar said it gives her a good opportunity to meet people since most of her business is done online.

“My paintings, some of them, have been sold overseas to other countries,” she said. “So I thought it was very important, you know, to be more locally present.”

Patrick Madden of M&M Sharpening Services said attendance was certainly higher this year than last. He said he liked seeing the variety of vendors.

“We don’t have competitors,” Madden said. “We have friends.”

Variety is something Aaron Ryder, who first came to the Farm and Art Market on Saturday, said he appreciates.

“Wichita is a big city, so it’s hard to keep up with everything that’s out there, so it’s kind of like a one-stop shop,” he said. “A kind of taste for everything.”