CHRISTIANBURG – The Christiansburg Farmers Market will begin this year’s season tomorrow, Thursday, May 18, bringing local food and products every Thursday to area community members.
The location at the Christiansburg Parks and Recreation Center, 1600 N. Franklin St., has provided more accessibility and parking for people to come to the market, according to the Assistant Events Coordinator for the Parks and Recreation Center and the Market Manager, Austin Gilmore. A New River Valley native, he was very excited about taking on the role of managing the market and helping local farmers and vendors connect with area residents.
Shopping hours for the market are Thursdays from 3-7 p.m. and will include music to enhance the experience while visiting the market. Every third Thursday of the month, live musicians will also perform, with opening day’s performer Jimmy Bohon from the band Jimothy appearing.
“It’s more like a farmer’s market, and you can have fun while walking around,” said Gilmore. “We’ve had people stop and dance or sit and listen. We want our vendors to sell and do well but also make the market fun and people want to come.”
Gilmore said diversifying offerings from the vendor is important to having a robust market, but the goal is also to offer a venue that provides residents an opportunity to buy fresh food while supporting local businesses and farmers.
“It’s good to meet a person face-to-face that grew or made a product you are purchasing,” Gilmore said. “There is just a sense of pride with supporting your local farmer.”
Every week, the market plans to have Space Rabbit Coffee Company, which is a popular vendor at the market. Many other returning vendors that residents will be happy to see this year are Sun & Spruce Soaps, Squeez’um and Skake’um Refreshment, Heavenly Hill Honey, Cavalier Farms, Deer Park Farm, and Afternoon Delight for baked goods, among many other vendors. Scallywag Letter Press, making screen printed and other printed design products, will be back at the market too. Mountain Valley Scones, with fresh baked goods, is among the new vendors that will be coming to the market this year.
The Facebook page is the best place to get up-to-date information, according to Gilmore. Social media calendars, different posts and interactions throughout the week, images of the market’s new baseball hats, and planned giveaways will be starting the week of the market’s opening and can all be found on the market’s social media pages. A full list of vendors will also be released on the market’s Facebook page, with additional information on their website at email@example.com.
Rusty the Scarecrow, the mascot for the Christiansburg Farmers Market, will also be returning this year. A fun part of the market is searching for Rusty and there are prizes for finding him. Several themes will be highlighted throughout the market’s seasons as well.
Patrons visiting the market may use cash for purchases, with some vendors taking electronic payment. However, if customers come to the market and forget to bring cash, tokens may be purchased at the market’s customer service tent. Another great program offered by the market is the option of approved participants to pay with SNAP benefits. The market will match up to $20 of SNAP money spent.
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