The Farmington Farmers and Artisans Market bell will ring in a new 24-week season on May 18 at the Walter Sundquist Farmington Pavilion and Riley Park in downtown Farmington.
City council members on Monday approved the Market schedule, which includes returning special events like the Fit as a Fiddle health fair (June 15), Strawberry Shortcake Day (June 22), the Farmington Elks Corn Roast (August 10), and Polish and Italian markets. The market closes its regular season on October 26, with the Haunted Market.
In addition, market manager Walt Gajewski said, the Power of Produce (POP) program for children ages 6-12 will return with activities on the second Saturday of each month. POP, which offers kids vouchers to shop for fresh produce, drew 240 participants in 2018. Gajewski said that’s about double the attendance at other local markets running the program.
“We’re training shoppers for the future,” he said.
Other 2018 statistics include:
- 35 – average weekly vendors, lower because the city was rehabilitating Riley Park grass
- 2,985 – average weekly attendance, also down from previous years because of the shorter 24-week season
- 8 – rain days, up from two in 2017
- 10 percent – increase in expenditures, due to the market’s 25th anniversary celebration
- 22.4 percent – increase in revenues over expenses, thanks to market sponsors supporting the 25th anniversary season
Gajewski said plans for 2019 include a continued emphasis on parking education with vendors and patrons, growing the POP program, resuming inspections of vendor farms, and improvements to the park and pavilion.
“A number of things will be coming to council to keep the market vital and attractive for years to come,” Gajewski said.
The winter market, typically held in conjunction with downtown Farmington’s Holly Days celebration the first Saturday in December, may be extended. Organizers may test out a “Vintage Market” and are exploring extended hours and expanded activities during Founders Festival weekend in July, Gajewski added.
To learn more about the Farmers Market, visit farmingtonfarmersmarket.com.