Open air market set to begin - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Open air market set to begin

May 24, 2005

Albany-- Remember when you could run to the farmer's market and pick up fresh fruit and vegetables? You'll be able to again, starting this summer.

Water, Gas, and Light and the Albany Civic Center are organizing an open air market for the first Saturday of each month.

This is the time of the year to find the best produce - watermelons, peaches, and tomatoes. And, you can beat the taste when they come straight from the farmer to produce stands.

Soon, you'll be able to stroll through an open air farmer's market in downtown Albany starting in July. Produce stands pop up around southwest Georgia this time of year, offering fresh fruits and vegetables for lower prices than grocery stores. "It's going to be an excellent season," said Produce Stand Owner Lora Kearse.

Lora Kearse and her husband run a produce stand on Palmyra Road. They're excited to hear Albany is organizing a community farmer's market, where dozens of vendors and farmers can sell their crops. "I think it's going to bring a lot of business to the downtown area. It's old-timey, I think it's going to have a nice feel to it," Kearse said.

"It's just going to be a wonderful event where you can get all the fresh produce, fresh flowers on a Saturday afternoon," said Lorie Farkas with Water, Gas and Light, who hopes the farmer's market will bring more people to downtown Albany and improve the perception of the Civic Center.

The farmer's market will be on Front Street next to the Civic Center on the banks of the river. "This is the start, with the Wildcats there and now the farmer's market, and we're thinking of some other things too," said Maddie Goddard, Albany Civic Center manager.

Beside fresh produce, there will be unique merchandise like local honey and homemade jams and jellies. "We're are looking for candle makers and soap makers. We're going to have, hopefully, some basket weavers. We want it to be a natural kind of event," said Farkas.

An event many fresh produce lovers feel is long overdue in a part of the state known for its tasty fruits and vegetables. The farmer's market will be free to vendors and customers.

Lorie Farkas says if it's popular, they'll start holding the market two weekends a month. The first farmer's market will be held on July 2nd. If you're interesting in having a stand at the farmer's market, contact Water, Gas, and Light or the civic center.

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