Farmers Market now open Fridays
July 21, 2009
The Park City Farmers Market Friday, July 18, was a relatively quiet affair for Sherman Bennett, a farmer based out of Alpine, Utah.
Most of the cherries, raspberries and blackberries he had plucked that morning from his 34-acre plot remained piled invitingly in crates.
S and R Fruit was open for business, but small crowds meant few buyers.
Still, Bennett remains optimistic about the future of a Friday farmers market at The Yard, now entering its third week. So do the 44 other farmers and vendors selling there.
"If it wasn’t going to get better, I wouldn’t come," Bennett said.
The market runs from 11 to 6 p.m. with parking in the back of The Yard. Meant to complement the usually bustling Wednesday market at The Canyons, the Friday event attracts many of the same vendors. The Friday market will be open through October.
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The Friday market is the brainchild of Volker Ritzinger and developers Mike Sweeney and Mark Fischer. It has been on Ritzinger’s wish list for about three years, spurred on by enthusiasm from patrons. With fresh paint on the buildings, new landscaping in front and approval from Park City Municipal, the project is finally seeing the light of day.
"Right now, it’s a little slow," Ritzinger admitted, but, "As more people come, more vendors will come . . . We know we have to build a new market. People realize we need to grow it as a community."
Organizers are still considering the possibility of changing the hours of the market from 3 to 9 p.m. to attract an evening crowd. A beer garden is also in the works.
The Yard sits on five acres at 1251 Kearns Blvd. north of Main Street. Sheds and garages provide shade for some vendors, and parking is plentiful.
Fischer, who own The Yard, said he expects the farmers market to remain at The Yard for the next five years. "We’re hoping it gets busier and busier," Fischer said. "The vendors are excited and we’re learning as we go."
For vendors like Dan Stoudt, who sells custom metal artwork and western décor at the farmers market, even a slow day in Park City is positive. He gladly makes the 60-mile drive from Evanston, Wyo., twice a week. "We’re better coming here than staying at home," said Stoudt, who has been selling his wares in town for about a decade. "We have to see a lot of people to do what we do."
The Friday Farmers Market runs at The Yard, 1251 Kearns Blvd., from 11-6 p.m.