Seventeen new vendors. A nearly 10-fold increase in customers. A new location. Kids classes, food sampling, and music. And all of this accomplished in just a few short months. What in the world am I talking about? The Clarksburg Farmers Market!
The board of directors of the market held several planning meetings over the winter and during these meetings, it became clear that a new location was needed. The previous location in the Christ Episcopal Church parking lot, while it served the market and its customers well, was not ideal. In staying with the goals of the market to provide the freshest possible produce to the residents of Harrison County, the members decided to pursue moving to Tractor Supply on Emily Drive.
Tractor Supply welcomed the market with open arms and planning began immediately. The opening day of the market was May 23 and saw over 500 customers, local news stations, kettle corn, and a ribbon cutting ceremony with the mayor of Clarksburg and several city councilmen. And the momentum has continued, despite a rather rainy start to the summer. The market is still seeing over 300 customers and has been averaging 16 vendors weekly.
The addition of kids classes has been well received, both young and old alike. Recently, bees visited the market! And earlier this summer, kids learned how to “build a hamburger.” More activities are in the works for kids, as well as planning for adult classes. Canning, food preservation, and gardening classes are being planned.
The market is also starting to feature more musicians. The music provides an inviting atmosphere for customers to shop and socialize. One of our vendors, Sweet Hollow Farm, has been periodically offering samples of their delicious local meat. The market is hoping in the future to host some chef demos as well.
The most recent development from the board has been the announcement of the new winter market location. In the past, the parish hall of the Christ Episcopal Church has been home to the winter markets. With the growth that the market has seen this year, it became apparent rather quickly that the parish hall would not be able to accommodate the nearly 17 vendors planning to attend the winter market. After much deliberation and several site visits, the Hilton Garden Inn has been selected as the new winter market location!
The regular season of the outdoor market will run until the end of October, weather permitting. Then begins the winter market season. The first winter market will be on November 7. Additional dates include November 21, December 5 and 19, January 9, February 6, March 5 and 26, and April 2. Each market will be held from 9AM – 1PM. The board is pleased to be able to offer the community fresh, local goods throughout the cold winter months. With such a variety of vendors, holiday shopping can be done in one spot! Shop local!