Submitted by Market Master Walt Gajewski
Great minds think alike, I guess. My local bank, my dentist, drycleaner’s, hardware store and everywhere else I find myself these past days all have one thing in common – asking me, “Are you ready for Opening Day of the market?” Talk about the pressure…I mean anticipation!
I got to thinking about the source of all the well-intended enthusiasm. Is it the flyers that we put up in shops and stores around town that flares recognition? Is it social media? Perhaps it’s the large banner that breezes the entrance of the Walter E. Sundquist Pavilion in Riley Park, the May to October home of the farmers market.
We do a pretty good of blowing our bugle for opening day, but I think what it’s really about is the return of “Saturday life in a Michigan small town…” It’s been a long, long winter. People are ready for the “spring of things” – the smell of fresh cut grass, neighborhoods cozying up under the canopies of budding trees, or just talking over the fence and maybe… about coming to market. It is at the farmers market where food, music, arts, crafts and people come together…young, older, whether in strollers or wheelchairs, from all walks, races and different places we share Saturdays as one. This is a good thing.
Your market this week
Opening day always coincides with Armed Services Day and over the years a tradition of sorts has woven its way into the heart of the downtown. Shortly before 9 a.m., the FHS Drum Corp will usher in a color guard that will stand at attention as Miss Farmington steps forward to sing our National Anthem. This year, mayors of both cities, Steve Schneeman of Farmington and Ken Massey of Farmington Hills, will be in attendance. I spoke with Zack Desjarlais, the drum line instructor at Farmington High School and he is excited to be directing the percussion team for this occasion that he himself participated in, when he was a student at Farmington.
“We’ve been planning for this day for the past couple months and will be practicing this week to get ready,” he said, adding, “Our percussion team is really big now with kids having come over from Harrison. This will be a great way for everyone to feel a part of something special…”
WDIV-TV meteorologist Paul Gross will emcee a short program headlined by our presenting sponsors, Beaumont and Fresh Thyme. The market bell will ring in the new season and our small-town celebration will begin! Let’s welcome the Yankee Air Museum at the Willow Run Bomber Plant and a brigade of strolling Rosie the Riveters who helped shape Detroit as the “arsenal of democracy” during the second World War.
Opening day is Flower Day! Larry Arbour will play some music, the Little Sprouts Kids Korner will spring to life and nearby, Petey’s Donuts will happily bounce their way off the conveyor line, made fresh at the market. Be sure to stop by and welcome Blue Hat Coffee, new to town, serving the market and moving into the old Masonic Temple later this year.
At 10 a.m., Chef Jeff Rose from the C.A.Y.A Smokehouse and Grille in Commerce will be “Cook’n at the Market” headlining our summer chef series of open conversation and free sampling on the south bricks of the market. Sponsored by the Calder Dairy, this interactive, casual mid-market experience brings some of metro Detroit’s top chefs to downtown Farmington.
At 10:30 a.m., get ready to “Swing into Spring” as the social swing dancers of “Swing Farmington” fill out the scene at the compass rose circle in Riley Park. Take a chance with free swing lessons!
We have so many sponsors, I would need another page to thank them all, so let’s meet them as we go, one at a time. Farmington Insurance is located down the street from the market and gets the nod as our “seniority” sponsor, having recently notched its 150th year of service to the greater Farmington community. It makes me wonder what the farmers market will be like in the year 2143 and that’s a good thing…
Until next time, and as always, here’s saying, “See you at the market…”