With a new location, a new manager, and a renewed focus on healthy living, the 2013 iteration of the Turlock Certified Farmers Market promises a slew of changes.
But one thing that won't be different when the market opens May 4 is a bountiful supply of fresh fruits, vegetables, and prepared foods.
“I think it's going to be a good year,” said new market manager Derek Griffin, who has been involved with the market as a volunteer and organizer since its resumption in 2010. “I just have a gut feeling.”
The market will move one block southeast on Broadway, now running between West Main and A Streets. Previously, the market was split in two by West Main Street, with fresh fruits and vegetables on the stretch of Broadway between West Main Street and West Olive Avenue.
The new spot is said to be safer, as pedestrians won't have to cross the always-busy West Main Street. And more importantly, the new site brings new opportunities with it.
“There area that we're now closing off is bigger than the one we previously had,” Griffin said. “We have room to grow the market now.”
The season will likely start with roughly the same number of vendors as a year ago, Griffin said. Some old favorites will return – like the Persian Peasant food stand – while new vendors will take part as well.
The relocated market will set up with the fresh fruits and vegetables near West Main Street, and prepared food vendors near Turlock City Hall. As the season begins, Griffin said to expect mostly vegetables, with fruit vendors coming in June.
“We'll have what we have – what's in season, and what's ripe now,” Griffin said.
Special evening time markets will make a return in 2013, with four night markets currently planned. Live music will be performed at each night market, contributing to the festival-like atmosphere. Bands are still being signed, but Red Dog Ash, a local bluegrass act, will perform at one.
And live music will play more of a role in the regular daytime markets as well, with a guitarist pegged to perform on opening day.
“We're going to have a lot more live music,” Griffin said.
The 2013 market will also come with a renewed focus on the market's theme: healthy food, healthy living, and a healthy lifestyle.
Two local clubs or teams will be present at each Turlock Farmers Market, offering information about activities ranging from cycling to basketball and karate. Demonstrations will presented, too.
The market is also planning to host its first ever 5K fun run and walk this summer, encouraging healthy living. The event is still early in the planning stages, with more information to come later.
The Turlock Certified Farmers Market will run from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Fridays from May through October. Four night markets will be held, from 4 to 8 p.m. on June 7, July 5, Sep. 6, and Oct. 25.