Saturday Market preps for return

Published 8:31 am Friday, April 2, 2010

Contributing Editor

Saturday Market is preparing to return to Washington’s Harbor District on April 17.
Saturday Market, which runs from 8 a.m. until noon each Saturday from April 17 through Oct. 16, is a project of Downtown Washington on the Waterfront. The farmers market component of Saturday Market is held on the west end of Stewart Parkway.
“April 17 is the opening gala,” said Tom Miller, chairman of Saturday Market.
Miller said vendors and artists may want to take advantage of free spaces on the opening day of Saturday Market. Usually, vendors pay $10 for a space at Saturday Market.
The offer of free spaces is being made because cold weather has hampered the early growing season, Miller said. By offering free spaces on April 17, Saturday Market hopes to entice vendors to show up and sell their goods even though those goods may be limited.
“We’re expecting kind of a light start to the market,” Miller said, adding that the free spaces are being provided to vendors and artists to help draw people to the opening of this year’s Saturday Market. “We expect to be in full bloom by late April.”
Some Saturday Market Vendors grow some of their produce in hothouses, but other vendors don’t, Miller said. The cold weather hurt vendors without hothouses more than it hurt vendors with hothouses, he noted.
Miller said people who buy items at Saturday Market events help support the local economy.
The farmers-market part of Saturday Market offers fresh produce, jams and jellies, seafood, baked goods and other locally produced foods. Some vendors sell flowers and plants.
Aside from artisans exhibiting their work on opening day of Saturday Market, the Art Expo component of Saturday Market takes place the second Saturday of each month from May through October. The artisans display their work in the area adjacent to the red caboose between the Beaufort County Arts Council’s headquarters and the Peterson Building.
Members of the Beaufort County Traditional Music Association are scheduled to perform at each Saturday Market this year. Their jam sessions are free and open to the public.
Saturday Market traces it roots back to a farmers-market approach developed about eight years ago by Cam and Shirley Padgett of Chocowinity after they visited a similar market in Salem, Ore. The Padgetts served as co-chairmen of the forerunner to Saturday Market, which in past years was held on the third Saturday of each month from April through October.
Vendors and artisans interested in participating in Saturday Market should contact Tom Miller at 975-6479 or DWOW administrator Beth Byrd at 046-3969. E-mails concerning Saturday Market may be sent to