By John Kern
A joyful noise filled the air on the village’s northeast side in late May as an estimated 300-plus shoppers celebrated the start of the Vicksburg Farmers’ Market’s 12th season at the Vicksburg Community Pavilion.
Market-goers were treated to a wide array of high-quality meat, cheese and poultry options, and a variety of fresh produce, prepared baked goods, soaps and personal care items and crafts.
Looking for a return to normalcy after last year’s COVID shortened season, the market’s board continues to explore how to best build on the legacy of community building, fun, and the celebration of local food producers that has developed over the years.
“The difference between shopping at the Farmers’ Market and any other grocery outlet is night and day,” said Board President Stella Shearer. “This is a unique opportunity for shoppers to get to know the people who are producing their food. The quality is higher, fresh items last longer and taste better. It’s a unique experience and certainly one that is not available to every community the size of Vicksburg.”
She went on to point out that the current board is charged with the task of perpetuating the work begun by a small group of like-minded individuals nearly 15 years ago who had a vision of creating a place for community members to gather and enjoy the bounty of the local area.
In honor of the one-year anniversary of market co-founder Sue Moore’s passing, green and white ribbons denoting her alma mater were displayed at entrances to the Pavilion.
The Pavilion is located at 300 Richardson Street, next to the Brady Township Hall.
As the area continues on the road back to normalcy, there are some considerations that shoppers need to bear in mind as they venture out to the market.
In keeping with the latest guidelines offered by the Center for Disease Control and County Health Department, masks for vendors and patrons are now optional. Picnic tables, however, will remain outside the pavilion on the adjacent lawn.
Construction along Spruce Street will continue to impact traffic flow to the parking area, but the board and village government have worked together to ensure that shoppers can get into the lot just as they have in the past, entering on Spruce and exiting onto Richardson Street.
There are a number of returning and new elements added to the Market for the 2021 season as well.
Music will be returning later in the season as will a version of the very popular Kids’ Plate program. The Vicksburg Schools’ Big Read Machine will also make regular appearances, as will weekly food trucks.
The Vicksburg Farmers’ Market is open every Friday from 2 to 6 p.m., mid-May through September.
The Market is also a registered 501c3 non-profit organization. Anyone interested in donating to the Market can contact the board through the market’s website at vicksburgfarmersmarket.com
By John Kern