New Venue, Same Mission
Warren Farmer’s Market celebrated its 40th anniversary in a new location and warm welcome Saturday morning.
“It was wonderful, overwhelming,” Michele Bango of Warren Farmer’s Market said. “We were really surprised because of the weather and the new location, we didn’t know what to expect. It was well worth the move. I think it’s going to be great.”
For the past 39 years, the market has been held at the Midtown Parking Lot, but moved this year to the 200 block of Liberty Street.
Warren Main Street has offered to sponsor Farmers’ Market in the hopes that having the event in the midst of downtown businesses will generate additional foot traffic into the stores. In past years, Farmers’ Market officials have estimated that 1,000 customers pass through on a nice-weather Saturday.
Main Street will pay the $100 special event fee for the season and act as a conduit for liability insurance. A downtown business will also provide storage space for Farmers’ Market materials.
“Not one person came by and said they didn’t like the location…as a vendor I thought it was a lot easier too,” Bango said, adding there’s easier access to electricity for vendors at the new location.
Bango said there were six vendors on Saturday, but that number is expected to grow as most farmers are a couple weeks behind on their crops due to the weather.
“It will grow,” she said, “farmers are two weeks behind at least.”
Parking in the midtown lot and walking to Liberty Street worked out well too, because at the previous location the vendors took up half the lot themselves, and now customers can park for free and make the short walk over.
“It’s very convenient, it’s just a few steps,” she said.
Farmers’ Market Coordinator Tom Frair said it will take a little bit of learning on part of the vendors to get in and get out of Market Street to set up.
“We know from experience that folks kind of look for you in the same area each week,” he said. “It’s going to take a little bit of learning on our part as the rest of the vendors start coming in in the next three or four weeks.”
As the season goes on and more vendors start attending, Friar said he expects the market to take up the remaining space on the 200 block of Liberty Street.
“As we get more vendors and the produce folks start coming, we’ll be stretched out,” he said. “We’re very thankful the Main Street group has helped us out. I think it will be ok, it will be a learning experience for vendors and customers as to how we’re set up and where we’re located and what we’ll have available.”
Bango also said they are looking for a musician or musicians to play “some soft nice music” during the farmers market. Anyone interested can contact the Warren Farmers Market on Facebook at Warren, PA Farmer’s Market or warrenfarmersmarket.wordpress.com.