Farmer's Market opens for summer
by Rory Doyle
May 31, 2013 | 1674 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A banner marks the new downtown location for the 2013 Cleveland Farmers Market in the alleyway aside Mosquito Burrito on Cotton Row. Saturday 's grand opening takes place from 9 a.m.–1 p.m. The family-friendly area will also host Art in the Alley each month.
A banner marks the new downtown location for the 2013 Cleveland Farmers Market in the alleyway aside Mosquito Burrito on Cotton Row. Saturday 's grand opening takes place from 9 a.m.–1 p.m. The family-friendly area will also host Art in the Alley each month.
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The 2013 Cleveland Farmers Market kicks off with a bang Saturday thanks to its new downtown location in the alleyway aside Mosquito Burrito on Cotton Row.

Citizens are invited to attend the official grand opening from 9 a.m.–1 p.m. to experience a revamped market.

"We're expecting great things this year with a larger number of vendors and more people in attendance," said Ryan Betz, volunteer market manager. "We want people to come out, greet their neighbors and make it a mini festival every Saturday.

"With the new location, we're expecting an upward trajectory for years to come."

The market will also be open on Thursdays from 5-7 p.m.

A number of regular vendors will return to the lineup this year, along with newcomers Bill Powell and his roasted coffee beans and a plethora of fresh produce grown at the Delta State University Wiley Community Garden.

Betz said its not too late to sign up as a vendor.

"This spring has been so wet and a lot of growers got their crops in later than normal," he said. "We'll have a much better selection of produce at the end of June and into July."

Because of the new setting, multiple downtown businesses will have food, salsas, baked goods and local products for sale.

"People can come to the market, support local produce and business, walk around Cleveland and do some shopping — take advantage of our beautiful downtown," added Betz.

Saturday's musical lineup includes the Delta Pickers at 9 a.m., followed by blues music from Sid Barger.

Betz encouraged the community to logon to the market Facebook page, www.facebook.com/clevelandfarmersmarket, to say updated with market happenings, listings of fresh available products and to share pictures of the new site.

"We also want people to use the Facebook page for sharing pictures and recipes with the products from the market," he said. "We're really encouraging everyone to get involved."

Currently, the Facebook page mentions the market's need for some fun, friendly volunteers to sit at the Friends tent on each market day.

Responsibilities include smiling, greeting visitors, answering questions, selling market T-shirts and getting to know the vendors and helping them set up.

"We always appreciate the volunteer support and donations," said Betz. "We need the support to help pay for infrastructure costs and musicians."

Betz, who has served as manager since 2008, will be stepping down from the position at the end of June to pursue a master's degree in Missouri. Former manager Michelle Johansen will once again take the lead.