Farmers market gearing up for another season

More activities planned for 2nd year at Franklin Park
Leader Staff

Shawano Farmers Market is gearing up for its second year of operations in its new home at Franklin Park, with new offerings and expectations of more vendors.
The market operated for six years in the parking lot at City Hall before moving last summer to the park in the 200 block of South Washington Street.
“We like the location,” said Richard Sarnwick, farmers market board president. “The old location was asphalt and when it heated up it was unbearable. It’s much cooler now, and we’re happy about that.”
Sarnwick said the market averaged about 20 vendors per Saturday last year, and he anticipates a 20 percent increase in vendors this year.
Some vendors pay for their space week by week; others pay for the entire season.
“We have a lot of vendors prepaid for the season,” Sarnwick said. “That’s a positive for us that they trust in the market and are willing to make that commitment.”
Musical entertainment is already a staple of the market, but this year there will be other offerings and activities, beginning with a recognition of June Dairy Month when the season opens on June 20.
Activities will include magic shows and kite flying, as well as educational presentations on topics such as boating safety and food preparation and preservation.
Local nonprofit groups will also set up space each week along with the produce vendors and crafters.
Sarnwick said the market would welcome more community growers, including those with small gardens, to be food vendors at the market.
“We like to have community people selling their produce,” he said.
The market runs from 8 a.m. to noon June 20 to Oct. 10, but the all-volunteer five-member board meets monthly throughout the year to plan the event. Many others volunteer their time and help out as well.
The Shawano Farmers Market depends on donations, grants and vendor booth fees. The market does not receive a percentage of any farmer, producer or artisan sales.
Expenses include items such as operations and site improvements, market management, insurance, advertising and community outreach.
As a nonprofit organization, the market welcomes donations, which are tax-deductible.