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What it is: This is a cute little event on the North Andover town common where members of the North Andover Merchants Association – local crafters, food vendors, small businesses, service providers, nonprofits and schools – come together to share what they have to offer. It usually happens in late September. There are kids crafts, bounce houses, a photo op setup, pony rides, mascots, and tons of promotional swag.

Cost: Free. Some activities have a small fee.

Highlights: My daughter loved the free bounce house, the Windrush Farm “pony” which they let her brush and the ballerinas from the dance school who gave her a tote bag. All the high school kids working at the different activities were very sweet and helpful.

Bummers: There are pony rides, which as an animal lover I feel uncomfortable with. There are also a good amount of tables that are not for kids, like banks and realtors, but most of them make up for it with fun promotional stuff like balloons. I also had to give my phone number to one company in order to score a bottle of free water off of them. A mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do.

Verdict: It was worth stopping by, if for nothing else but to get familiar with some of the local businesses and organizations and to enjoy a walk around the park. My daughter had fun running around, and we stayed almost an hour.

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