A Run to the Market

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Steve Kersten, of Fort Dodge, contemplates his next brush stroke Thursday afternoon as he works on the community canvas at the Fort Dodge Fine Arts Association table at the Market on Central in downtown Fort Dodge.

The phrase “run to the market and pick up some sweetcorn” isn’t usually meant to be interpreted literally.

On Thursday afternoon, though, it was possible to do it.

Participants in the Shag the Drag run/walk could, at the end, stop by Market on Central and, with a visit to a vendor or two, go home with that sweet corn.

The three-mile walk/run began at the Ringland-Smeltzer House and ended on Central Avenue. The fundraiser, organized by Jenn and Luke Becker, was meant to benefit the local Meals on Wheels.

Janine Lynch, co-owner of Lynch Farms, in Barnum, was one of the vendors that could make sure the runners or walkers went home with corn.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Abby Biggins, at left, along with Trevor Johnson, both of Lehigh, enjoy the Market on Central with Pieper the dog Thursday afternoon in downtown Fort Dodge.

“There’s a least three more weeks of it,” she said. “We have several plantings.”

There’s several crops at the peak of their season, including cucumbers, onions and potatoes.

“The tomatoes are just starting to come in,” she said.

Reed Russell, of Fort Dodge, was leading the pack of runners early in the event, although his goal was only staying ahead of one other runner.

“It’s a family competition against my dad,” he said.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Des Moines musician Ryne Doughty performs Thursday afternoon at Market on Central in downtown Fort Dodge.

The pair had been giving each other plenty of static about who might get the best time, but in the end helping a good cause was Russell’s ultimate goal.

The Market on Central offers a variety of wares besides farm fresh produce; there are also crafts, wine, foods, music and an exposure to the arts.

Steve Kersten, of Fort Dodge, was helping out at the Fort Dodge Fine Arts Association booth. When not visiting, he kept busy working on the community canvas the group provides for anyone to give painting a try.

“It’s an abstract landscape,” he said. “If I could do a happy cloud I would.”

He also shops the Market.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Runners participating in the Shag the Drag run-walk make their way east along Second Avenue South Thursday afternoon as they set out on the three mile course.

“I’m a produce guy,” he said.

Patty Zahm, of Fort Dodge, was going to walk the run/walk. She was doing it to support Meals on Wheels after seeing the group help her dad, Ted Eller, of Knoxville.

“Every day at noon he would get a visit,” she said. “He would save half for supper. Somebody did a little check on him too. It was wonderful to know.”

Her dad, who lived on his own until he was 92, had previously been a volunteer.

“He delivered till he needed them himself.” she said. “This is just a little way to give back.”

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Alexandra Leiting, 9, of Fort Dodge, holds a sign offering encouragement to the runners in the Shag the Drag run Thursday afternoon. Leiting would be helping direct runners along the course.

Linda Miller, of Newton, the owner of Miller Creek, offers her stained glass art at the Market — and homemade pizza crusts.

“The pizza crusts are a good seller,” she said.

There’s a secret ingredient.

“I add the love,” she said.

Attending the Market has been a source of addition work.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Linda Miller, of Newton, owner of Miller Creek, makes sure one of her stained glass creations is nice and polished Thursday afternoon during the Market on Central in downtown Fort Dodge. Miller also sells homemade pizza crusts.

“Mostly what I get are special orders,” she said.

There’s one more bonus, though.

“I get to see my kids and grandkids,” she said.

Kersten wasn’t the only artist putting brush to canvas at the Market.

Isaiah Degen, of Fort Dodge, was working on one too.

“I’m painting whatever comes to mind,” he said. “I work by intuition.”

He was finding his sidewalk studio a new and challenging experience.

“It beats being in my room,” he said. “It’s challenging to open up and expose myself. It’s usually a private thing.”

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Reed Russell, of Fort Dodge, stretches Thursday afternoon on the sidewalk at the Smeltzer-Ringling House before the start of the Shag the Drag Race. Russell was having a friendly race rivalry with his dad Mike Russell, who also ran in the fundraiser.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen Lynch Farms, of Barnum, had plenty of fresh sweet corn available Thursday for customers at the Market on Central in downtown Fort Dodge.