Home World Aurora Farmers Market offers sense of community

Aurora Farmers Market offers sense of community

6
0


The promise of summer always brings a sense of anticipation, and for Aurora resident Rick Starke that includes the opening of the Aurora Farmers Market for the season.

“I’ve been coming to this for at least 30 years,” Starke said as he gazed at vendors at the market in downtown Aurora Saturday morning. “I like the sprouts vendor they have here and I come every week if I can. I’m happy that the market opened earlier this year. The sooner the better.”

Aurora’s iconic farmers market – the oldest one operating in the state – opened for its 113th season at 8 a.m. Saturday at Water Street Square at 65 S. Water St. near Aurora City Hall.

The market will run from 8 a.m. until noon every Saturday through Oct. 5 and include about 40 to 45 vendors weekly.

Opening day on Saturday featured a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9 a.m. as well as entertainment in the form of live music and animals visiting from Phillips Park Zoo.

Market manager Felicia Freitag is excited about the opening of the market for the season.

“We’re doing a lot of fun stuff this year, and we’re really excited to see everyone back, the patrons that come every week and getting the community back together every Saturday morning,” she said. “Things have been pretty smooth leading up to this, and we’ve been looking forward to getting this going.”

Freitag noted there will be some new raised garden beds at the market this year that will be stocked with “herbs and produce plants” which people will be allowed to harvest.

“We like that there will be a service as well as an education piece to the garden beds as well,” she said.

While most of this year’s vendors were locked in weeks ago, Freitag said a new vendor from Spring Grove came on board just recently.

“We got a sausage and meat retailer named Farmer Nick’s who filled out the paperwork this past week, so we’ll have another option in that category,” she said.

Ralph Lopez of Michigan-based Lopez Farms is back this season and remains one of the anchor vendors at the market.

Ralph Lopez of Michigan-based Lopez Farms was one of the vendors at the Aurora Farmers Market, which opened for the season Saturday morning. (David Sharos / For The Beacon-News)
Ralph Lopez of Michigan-based Lopez Farms was one of the vendors at the Aurora Farmers Market, which opened for the season Saturday morning. (David Sharos / For The Beacon-News)

“I have this market and then one in Michigan, so this is one of my big stops,” he said. “We have pretty much the same things this year. I’m happy to see the people again. Here, I pretty much know everybody. I know just about everyone who comes to our stand. It’s like seeing you uncle again.”

Izac Gomez of Oswego came to the market for the first time ever on Saturday.

“I bought some dog teats and we’re going to check out the Strawberry BBQ vendor,” Gomez said. “They were here for the food truck festival last month and we’re waiting for them to open. I won’t eat the barbecue now, but will take it home for later.”

Ginger Ingram of Aurora was one of the first at the market Saturday as the rain began to fall.

“I would have been here early even if the rain wasn’t coming,” she said. “My go-to stuff each week includes vegetables and something other than that. I like to treat myself with either plants or maybe some homemade bread or something like that.”

Ginger’s husband Corey Ingram said that for him, the vegetables and fresh fruit are his go-to items.

The couple admitted they do a deep dive on the market each year and try to spot the new vendors and check them out.

“Five minutes ago we just said to each other ‘Let’s see what new here this year,’” Corey Ingram said. “We always check it out.”

Viviana Alba of Aurora, left, and her partner Christina Garcia brought their dog Panini to the opening of the Aurora Farmers Market for the season on Saturday. (David Sharos / For The Beacon-News)
Viviana Alba of Aurora, left, and her partner Christina Garcia brought their dog Panini to the opening of the Aurora Farmers Market for the season on Saturday. (David Sharos / For The Beacon-News)

Viviana Alba of Aurora came with her dog strapped to her back and said she “likes the local part of the market but also that we can just hang out with our dog.”

“He knows when it’s market day even though its been months,” Viviana said about her dog Panini. “He was waiting by the door and knows every weekend we are going out with him. He just stands by the door and cries like ‘Hurry up!’ He was definitely excited.”

David Sharos is a freelance reporter for The Beacon-News.



Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here