Change will be in the air when the Downtown Jamestown Farmers Market begins its 2014 season on Thursday, June 5. And so will the smells of fresh fruits and vegetables, the sounds of local musicians, and the feelings of contentment that inevitably arise when summer, people and food intersect.
Based on feedback from customers and vendors, the market will be moving to Cherry Street between Third and Second streets, a half-block east of its former home in Foundry Alley. Besides the change in location, the market will also be shifting day and time, occurring on Thursdays from noon-6 p.m. (June through October) rather than the midday Friday markets of the past several years.
How will these changes benefit the Farmers Market and downtown Jamestown? The new location on Cherry Street will provide space for more vendors to set up shop (that block of Cherry will be closed to traffic), while the small park at the corner of Cherry and Second streets will provide space for dining and entertainment to complement the sale of prepared meals, desserts, coffee and other treats.
At the same time, changing the operating hours will allow the market to serve a wider audience, from lunch-hour shoppers, to downtown's growing residential population, to the after-work shoppers who need to pick up ingredients on the way home.
These changes also allow for an expansion of popular market features of the past few years. Food preparation and preservation demonstrations by experts from Cornell Cooperative Extension will occur every week at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Live music by local artists, a lunch-hour feature of this year's market as well as past markets, will expand to include performances between 4-6 p.m.
Several new features are being added, too, including many children's activities. Thursday Story Time for small children will take place from 3-4 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month, which will be preceded and followed by face painting.
The centerpiece of the market, of course, will continue to be the farmers, selling a wide range of locally grown produce. Other vendors will include a local coffee roaster, local wineries and grape growers, and several new artisan vendors.
To stay in touch with weekly happenings at the market, including special vendors, entertainment and educational opportunities, visit the Downtown Jamestown Farmers Market on Facebook. You can also contact Christina King, the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation's Farmers Market assistant, at 664-2477, ext. 228 to learn more about market activities and how to participate as a vendor.
As always, numerous sponsors make the Downtown Jamestown Farmers Market possible. Supporters of this year's market include Univera Healthcare, WRFA-LP FM, the Gebbie Foundation, Hope's Windows and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
HANDS-ON JAMESTOWN UPDATE
Hands-On Jamestown, the communitywide cleanup coordinated by the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation, takes place this Saturday, from 8 a.m. to noon. If you haven't registered yourself or your group to participate, visit www.jamestownrenaissance.org to sign up online or download a registration form. You can also register at Tracy Plaza on Saturday or by calling the JRC's Tiffani Conti at 664-2477, ext. 226.
Renaissance Reflections is a biweekly feature with news from the front lines of Jamestown's revitalization. Learn more at jamestownrenaissance.org.