Bryan County residents who have missed fresh produce, handcrafted goods, live plants and more from local farmers markets should get their goody bags ready because market season has arrived.
Farmers markets kick off the season on both ends of the county next week with numerous activities, live entertainment, local and regional vendors and more.
The Richmond Hill Farmer’s Market will open Tuesday from 3-7 p.m. under the pavilion in J.F. Gregory Park. According to market manager Angus McLeod, more than 30 vendors from places like Glennville, Beaufort, Statesboro and more will set up shop.
“There is a lot of excitement in the air about our farmer’s market returning to J.F. Gregory Park if the number of phone calls I have received are any indication,” McLeod said.
McLeod said Willis and Barker will be playing live music Tuesday and local blacksmith Paul Thompson will give live demonstrations.
“Paul takes a piece of iron and turns it into useful tools or steel flowers,” McLeod said.
Other attractions include a market lottery, local girl scouts and Peach Hubbard with the Dolphin Project who will have an educational booth. Sue Cox with New York Life will also set up shop to offer free children’s identification cards and fingerprinting.
“We just have lots and lots of response and vendors are getting telephone calls from people wanting to know if they’re coming back,” he said. “There is just a lot of genuine excitement in the air.”
McLeod said the market will continue in the park each Tuesday through mid-October.
In Pembroke, the Whistlestop Farmer’s Market is April 7 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. downtown near the Pembroke Police Department. The market will be held in conjunction with a city-wide Easter egg hunt at 10 a.m. Sharroll Fanslau, executive director of the Downtown Development Authority, said she hopes to see lots of families at the event.
“We’re really trying to surround out downtown with family events and make sure (residents) know we support the community,” she said. “Each market (this season) will have some type of activity for children and most markets will have some type of theme.”
In addition to the Easter egg hunt, bounce houses for children, activities and prizes will also be available. Fanslau said Easter photographs will also be available with live bunnies.
Fanslau expects more than 15 vendors to set up shop in the downtown area offering up fresh produce, flowering plants, jewelry, baked goods, woodworking crafts and much more.
Markets in Pembroke will be slightly different this year, she added. Instead of weekly, the market will be held once a month.
“With us spacing out the market it seems to be of more interest this year to the community so we’re looking forward to providing great services for everyone,” she said.
Fanslau said interested vendors can contact her for booth space at the market by calling City Hall at 653-4413.
For more information on the Whistlestop Farmer’s Market, visit www.facebook.com/PembrokeDDA. For more information on the Richmond Hill Farmer’s Market, visit www.facebook.com/RichmondHillFarmersMarket.