Nature Creations sells upcycled glass art in a number of designs. Contributed / Nature Creations

When Lisa Thompson, director of Wescustogo Hall and Community Center, was looking for a COVID-friendly activity in January, she thought a market in the parking lot would be the perfect idea.

She discovered that many people in town had not even been to Wescustogo Hall, and she set up the market with the idea of connecting people in town.

“I want people to come by and see what’s in their community,” she said.

Thompson has hosted an outdoor market twice this month from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesdays, with four to 12 vendors each night. The market will continue weekly until Sept. 7.

Also planned for this summer in the parking lot are free monthly outdoor movie nights. The film on June 23 will be “The Sandlot,” and “Raya and the Last Dragon” will be screened Aug. 18. Thompson is looking for a sponsor to screen “The Wizard of Oz” July 28.

The film nights will also feature food trucks, with Mainely Burgers in attendance on the first movie night.

Market vendors include Nature Creations, a purveyor of glass art; From the Farmer, a portable farmers market; and Doggie Dorr, which sells gourmet dog treats. Prince Memorial Library will have a table in coming weeks along with Cumberland/North Yarmouth Mental Health Committee.

Marilyn Matthews, president of the Cumberland/North Yarmouth Lions Club, said the organization is holding raffles two nights a month at the market to assist with fundraising. She said missing out on the Cumberland Fair last year – where the Lions Club conducts its biggest fundraiser of the year –inspired the group to try out new venues for fundraising.

“We are raffling off really cute cheese boards shaped like the state of Maine on each night we are there,” Matthews said, including July 6 and 20, and Aug. 10 and 24.

Tonya Shevenell, who wrote “The Maine Birthday Book,” which she described as “a children’s book that celebrates the wildlife and geography of Maine,” has had a table at the market one night so far and will be back next week on June 29 to sell and sign copies. Shevenell also will be selling photo notecards and art prints that feature illustrations from the book.

Thompson said nonprofits are charged $10 per night and for-profit businesses have to pay $20 to rent a site the size of a parking space at the market.

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