Farmers’ Market, Saturday Market return to waterfront
Changes made to events organized by DWOW
By MIKE VOSS, Contributing Editor
Washington’s Farmers’ Market returns to the waterfront April 7 and each Saturday through Oct. 20.
The Farmers’ Market, presented by Downtown Washington on the Waterfront, begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m., unless producers sell out before 2 p.m.
Saturday Market, another Downtown Washington on the Waterfront production, also returns to the waterfront. Saturday Market is held the third Saturday of each month from April through October. Saturday Market follows Music in the Streets, which is held the third Friday of each month from April through September. The Saturday Market in August will be held Aug. 11 to avoid a conflict with Pickin’ on the Pamlico, which is set for Aug. 18. In October, Music in the Streets moves to the fourth Friday of that month as a prelude to Smoke on the Water, which is set for Oct. 27.
The markets made their debut last year.
Growers and producers who participated in last year’s Farmers’ Market events have been contacted by letters from Downtown Washington on the Waterfront, said Joey Toler, interim director of Downtown Washington on the Waterfront, in a brief interview Thursday.
Downtown Washington on the Waterfront is receiving help from Rod Gurganus, an agricultural extension agent who works for N.C. Cooperative Extension office in Beaufort County, and the Beaufort County Farm Bureau, Toler said.
That support includes, but is not limited to, educating farmers how to grow specific crops, how to handle those crops and how to market those crops, Gurganus said.
Building on the success of last year’s Farmers’ Market, Downtown Washington on the Waterfront has made several adjustments and modifications to accommodate farmers and downtown merchants.
The Farmers’ Market is moving east to the western-most parking lot adjacent to the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce building on Stewart Parkway. It used to be located at the western end of Stewart Parkway and near the dock master’s office.
The change in location is based on recommendations from downtown merchants and city officials, according to Toler.
In response to growers’ requests, the Farmers’ Market begins earlier this year than it did last year.
This year’s Farmers’ Market is expected to start with a small number of vendors but grow as more fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers become more plentiful. Downtown Washington on the Waterfront will seek more vendors to add to the variety and quality of the Farmers Market, according to Toler.
Saturday Market also has been modified. This year, the Saturday Market food court will be operated by nonprofit organizations as a way to raise money, Toler said. For a small fee, a nonprofit organization may rent a booth at the food court.
Antiques and collectibles will join the items offered by vendors at Saturday Market, Toler said.
Saturday Market also includes the Farmers’ Market, an artisans market and performance stage where free entertainment is provided. The stage allows area residents to showcase their performance talents, Toler said.
To participate in the Farmers’ Market, each grower or producer must pay a $30 fee for the season. The fee covers marketing and administrative costs associated with the Farmers’ Market and membership in the Farmers’ Market Association. A booth rents for $10 a Saturday, with payment collected the day the booth is rented.
There are similar fees for vendors who participate in Saturday Market.
Applications for participation in the Farmers’ Market and Saturday Market are available by calling Downtown Washington on the Waterfront at 946-3969 or by e-mail at email@example.com. Applications, along with guidelines for participation, are also available at DWOW’s Web site, washingtononthewater.com.