It’s that time of year again, time for the market to open full swing. Now, don’t get me wrong, the market has actually been in full swing all year. So where to start? A round-up of news since last October when the last Market Fresh column was printed or the news about “opening day” next Tuesday? Let’s start with the winter market and then you’ll have to read the whole column to find out about next week (and believe me, there is some important information you won’t want to miss at the end of this column).
You may remember that during the previous two winters we moved to the Historical Society’s Clubhouse for winter market so we could be indoors. This winter we knew that we had outgrown the Clubhouse and would have to move back to the pavilion. Luckily the city had secured funding to enclose and heat it for the winter. But my oh my, what a winter it was. One Saturday the weather was so bad that we just had to cancel market, but otherwise we managed and were extremely thankful for the protection and heat. Kudos to the late Chuck Surface for securing the grant that paid for the improvements and to Parks Director Tom Reeder who designed and implemented the sidings. (When I say “we” managed, I have to admit that I spent most of the winter in Australia with my daughter’s family so it was other hardy folks who did the managing. There were days this winter when my “high” in Perth was about 100 degrees higher than your “high” in Webb City. I like my high better.)
In case you missed it, not only did we stay at the pavilion this winter but we added what we hope will become a major addition to the winter market – our Christkindlmarket. Look for an even better version of it next November and December.
And look for a special market Saturday when we have our Spring Celebration. We’re open from 9 to noon and we’re expecting at least four farms with all sorts of lovely spring greens, as well as our bakers, egg farmers, and honey vendor. There will be lots of plants, flowers, vegetable, herbs and hanging baskets.
William Adkins will perform from 9 to 11. We’ll have free seed packets from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds – one per person till we run out. Three artists will be on hand selling jewelry and glass work. Randi Bachman returns after an absence of four years with her repurposed fabric items and pottery. Jim Oxley, Tami Fredrickson’s grandpa, returns with his frilly handcrafted dresses for little girls, newborn to 12 years. He only comes two or three times a year for our special markets, so don’t miss him. (Right - That's little Josephine in her Jim Oxley dress.)
We’ll have cards at the information table for customers to sign. The first card is for Dr. Mark Robinson, our dairyman. Mark was hit by a baseball earlier this week and is in ICU at Mercy in Springfield with a very serious head injury.
The second card is a secret one for Bert and Daffol Ott of Black Forest Pastries. They are retiring from the market at the end of the month. Tomorrow is their last Saturday and then they’ll be at the market for the last two Fridays of the month.
And now for the important information I promised. The market opens for the regular season on Tuesday and (get ready for it) the new Tuesday hours will be 4 to 6 pm. So between 4 and 6 next week, we’ll have free hot dogs, grilled up by our super volunteers and former city officials Glenn Dolence and Don Meredith, we’ll have a free Washington Hawthorne seedling for each customer. The Sours will play traditional music. Stop by the information table and pick up your free refrigerator magnet with our hours and days for the season – Tuesday from 4 to 6 pm, Friday from 11 to 2, and Saturday from 9 to noon.
And while you’re at the information table, you might pick up a volunteer form. The market wouldn’t exist without its volunteers and there plenty of tasks to suit any ability. Just this week, three volunteers worked with 30 middle schoolers to plant onion sets in the Kids Community Garden. And, of course, the volunteers pretty much run the market. So if you want to join our volunteer family for a couple of hours a month or a few hours a week, just let us know.
Next Friday Some Strings Attached play gospel, bluegrass and whatever else strikes their fancy. Granny Shaffers returns to the market with homemade bierocks (a German meat-filled pastry that will be available hot for lunch or frozen for your later enjoyment), chicken salad sandwiches and strawberry/spinach salad.
It’s going to be another great year at the market. See you there!