A tale of two farm markets

9 Jun

Vendors at the village market tucked their tents amid the parked cars.

Webster’s two farm markets officially opened for the summer this morning, despite the rain. Being that this is the first time (in my memory, anyway) that Webster has had TWO markets, I was curious about how they’d be set up and what the crowds would be like.

This was one of the nicer stands, real farm-market-ish.

For those not in the loop, this summer the Joe Obbie Farm market, which had been in the village for years, most recently in the community parking lot behind the fire station on South Ave., decided to move to the Towne Center parking lot, near the gazebo.  The village, in turn, has organized a second farm market, with vendors setting up in parking spaces along both West and East Main.

The Joe Obbie set up at Towne Center was much more organized.

I swung by the village first this morning. The rains had stopped by the time I got there, and the sun was out, but still there weren’t many people on the street.  Part of the problem was there weren’t many vendors on the street.  I visited briefly with Mayor Peter Elder, who was out and about, who told me that the morning rains prohibited many vendors from setting up shop. So there were only ten vendors situated sporadically along Main Street, making them a little difficult to pick out among the parked cars. Some of them really didn’t have a great selection of products, either, so the whole thing seemed a bit anemic.  But I think we can chalk that up in part to its being a brand new event, still finding its legs.

The Joe Obbie Farmer’s Market in contrast, was big and bountiful and crowded. There were more than two dozen vendors, all gathered together with their large tents, drawing nearby shoppers with a carnival-like atmosphere. As I walked around I heard the vendors talking about the morning’s rainstorms, but they didn’t seem to have permanently dampened the event. It was clear the market was thoroughly enjoying its new roomier location, which allows more vendors than I’ve ever seen before (especially this early in the year) and gives everyone more room to spread out. Plus the Girl Scouts had set up a kids’ area in the gazebo.

Girl Scout troop 60367 created this fun area for kids, where they coul dmake crafts while their parents shopped.

The Joe Obbie market has years of organization behind it, so no surprise it’s bigger and better right now.  I look forward to seeing how the new village market grows and matures. We’ll check back in a few more weeks…perhaps when the weather is better.

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