Park City Farmer’s Market opens two weeks early this year | ParkRecord.com

Park City Farmer’s Market opens two weeks early this year

Ritzinger enjoys providing good vendors

A far as Volker Ritzinger can remember, the Park City Farmer's Market has always opened in June.

This year, Ritzinger, the market's manager and organizer, will move things up two weeks, and open on Wednesday, May 24.

"This is the first time we're doing this, because many of the farmers who will participate have greenhouses," Ritzinger told The Park Record. "They asked me why are we going so long in October when it snows? Why not start it earlier?

"My job is to listen to the farmers and vendors and we decided to open up earlier this year."

The change in opening date is the only major difference this year, because the market will still be held from noon to 6 p.m. every Wednesday at Canyons cabriolet parking lot. Live music will be provided by Rich Wyman. Admission is still free.

Ritzinger said the produce and offerings will still be provided by the best vendors he can find.

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"We try to keep everyone in line as far as offering the most organic foods and products as [the vendors] can," he said. "I inspect every farm of those who want to participate to make sure they aren't using GMOs and things like that. In fact, I've been inspecting farms for the past two-and-a-half months."

Ritzinger also visits approximately 30 farmer's markets each year to recruit new vendors.

"I love talking to people and bringing the best stuff to Park City," he said. "We have some great vendors who have been with us from the past and some new ones as well."

Ritzinger also tries to find local vendors.

"Of course, Summit County vendors will get priority, and then we work out from there," he said.

Last year the Park City Farmer's Market featured more than 80 vendors.

"We can have up to 100, and right now, we have 86 for this year, but I'm sure there will be some vendors who will call later," Ritzinger said. "Our deadline [was] May 1, but we don't want to be too strict with that. If someone calls and they have a good organic product, or a nice art or craft that we don't have, we'll try to fit them in. We're are open to listen to vendors and producers who have good stuff."

This year also marks the end of the contract between the Park City Farmer's Market and
Vail Resorts, which owns Canyons and Park City Mountain Resort.

"I will have to renegotiate or find a new spot, which will be difficult here in Park City because space like this is so limited," he said. "I hope we can find a way to keep the market there. It's the perfect spot for us."

Whitney Wall, Park City Mountain brand experience manager, said the Park City Farmer's Market is a perfect gathering place for the community.

"It's great to see so many local vendors offering fresh produce and quality products to the community and we're happy to provide a venue that makes this possible," Wall said in a statement. "Summer is a special time in Park City that we all look forward to after the ski season ends. Along with our hiking, biking and mountain activities, the Farmer's Market provides another great venue for people to unplug, get outside and truly enjoy the mountain community that we live in."

Ritzinger said he has enjoyed the partnership with Vail.

"I think they do a fantastic job working with the community and working with me," he said. "We started at the Park City Farmer's Market at Park City Mountain Resort 20 years ago, and we have enjoyed having it at Canyons."

Ritzinger also enjoys presenting the market to the community.

"I love finding new vendors and making this Farmer's Market better each year," he said.

The Park City Farmer's Market will open for the season at noon on Wednesday, May 24, at Canyons cabriolet parking lot. The market, which will run every Wednesday through mid-October, is open from noon until 6 p.m. For information, visit http://www.parkcityfarmersmarket.com.

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