The Main Street Farmers Market in Washington is being moved back to its earlier time this year as organizers prepare for the popular weekly event’s 11th season.
The market filled with dozens of vendors in the South Main Street parking lot will once again operate from 3 to 6 p.m. each Thursday beginning May 15 after organizers tried slightly later hours over the past two years.
It operated from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. over the past two years with the hopes of giving people more time to come after work, but organizers found that few customers arrived after 6 p.m.
“We really didn’t get a lot of customers after 6 p.m., so we didn’t think it was worth it to go that late,” said Lee Stivers, who is vice president of the farmers market board.
This year’s market will include most of the 30 vendors who set up shop last year, with the additions of Katherine’s Dried Spiced Apples, Kern Farms and The Washington Winery. There will also be live music each Thursday along with other activities.
The 2014 season will be a chance to reignite fundraising efforts to build an open-air pavilion that would cover both South Main Street public parking lots. The fundraising campaign to build the 15,000-square-foot pavilion has slowed the past two years, but received a boost in recent months from the Whiskey Rebellion Festival committee, City of Washington and other cornerstones of the community.
A total of $358,624 was raised for the project as of January, but Washington officials agreed in March to contribute $50,000, while Washington & Jefferson College and the Washington Health System each offered to donate $10,000. Suzanne Ewing, the market’s board president, said the group is making progress and excited to pursue new donors and corporate sponsors as they prepare for the 2014 season.
“The leaders of our community’s most important institutions recognize that the market has created a vibrant weekly event that has become well-loved by our town, and we are extremely grateful for their generosity,” Ewing said.