Students get a glimpse of local businesses

Wendy’s representatives giving away frosty key tags at Market Daze. They promoted Wendy’s business for Topeka and gave away coupons.

For many years, the Memorial Union at Washburn University has held its annual Market Daze event. This will be the seventh Market Daze at Washburn, upholding its tradition in allowing students to learn about local vendors and businesses from the community.
When Market Daze first began back in 2017, the event had about 300 people attend. Each year, this event has gained more attraction from the people on campus.
“It seems like we have more students coming through this year and more interaction,” Kelly Gerhardt, a representative for NOTO Escapes said. “It seems like it’s [the event] increasing in size.”
“Pre-covid we used to have Union Daze where it was a full week of events and post-covid we moved things around and this event has stayed one of the most popular of the Union Daze,” Becky Bolte, the Memorial Union Director said.
This year’s Market Daze featured multiple businesses from Topeka; a few common vendors were Circle Coffee Co., PT’s Coffee, Pizza Hut, Grifols, NOTO Escapes, Wendy’s and the signature splatter paint canvas.
Aside from getting free samples, food, accessories and being involved in fun activities, Market Daze is about familiarizing ourselves with the area. “[Market Daze] is our opportunity to bring in different entities from the city to showcase what they have,” Bolte said. “Mainly it’s to showcase what they offer and where they are located.”
Student orientation counselor, Daniel Lopez-Hernandez, was in charge of the splatter paint canvas that attracts many students. “It’s a tradition we have been doing here at Washburn over the years so it’s kinda leaving a mark and students putting their paint in it,” Lopez-Hernandez said. Once dried, the canvas will be displayed on the third floor of the Union next to the previous years of this splatter paint tradition for everyone to see.
A variety of students on campus attend Market Daze each year and it’s a great opportunity for people to connect and get to know the city and what businesses are available around the campus. “I saw many new businesses here, for example Grifols, they do the plasma donations,” Sangye Yogi, a senior majoring in data analytics and finance said. “I saw the Topeka Metro and the new circle coffee. It’s so nice seeing Topeka businesses around here and seeing them promoting and letting Washburn students know about that.”
Market Daze was a great way for new students on campus to try new places and see what they have to offer. “I’m from Topeka so I know a lot of them [businesses] but not a lot around Washburn,” Freshman, Zoey Haugsness said. “I haven’t seen Circle Coffee Co., the bookstore and another small coffee shop [PT’s Coffee] too.”
Another nearby business at the event was NOTO Escapes. “We come out and let students know that we’re here to entertain you, come out and check us out,” Gerhardt said. “We have three rooms that are running plus we’ll have a haunted room this year.” Gerhardt wants students to come out to see what they have to offer and they even have some part-time jobs available.
Although Market Daze is over for this school year, you can still go check out the local businesses and try new things. Go try a new coffee shop, try to unlock puzzles at NOTO escapes, go see the splatter canvas that students created at the event or even order pizza with some friends and have a study session. Topeka has a lot of businesses around the campus, so going out and exploring them is a great way to get involved and discover new interests.
Edited by: Alijah McCracken, LeSha’ Davis