By David Hotle, The JOURNAL
It was the first time the Dillon Family of West Chester had set up a table at the Washington Farmers Market, but the hardest part for the family was keeping the Dutch Letters Karen Dillon had made earlier stocked as marketgoers seized on them.
Karen Dillon, originally from Pella, had been making the traditional Dutch treat for many years. She explained Dutch Letters is a pastry, originally from Holland, that is a staple in Pella. She said they are a pastry with an almond paste.
She said they almost melt in the mouth, adding that it isn?t uncommon for the bakeries in Pella to sell out of Dutch Letters.
?I have been making them all my life,? Karen Dillon said as she proudly showed a photo card set up on the table that chronicled generations of baking in her family. ?We have been making them for a long time so we decided to try out the farmers market and sell them.?
Her husband Ron Dillon and daughter Beth Dillon helped her man the table as the pastries quickly disappeared while their cash box proceeded to get fuller.
The weather was almost perfect Thursday evening for the first farmers market of the year, with the sunny temperature hovering around 80 degrees.
Market master Bob Shepherd was unsure how many vendors had come out for the first market after the winter, but estimated well over 30 vendors had set up their tables and wares around the sidewalks in Central Park.
?We have a whole lot of brand spanking new offerings this year, from baked goods to some different handmade items,? he said.
With the market entering its 30th year as a mainstay of the downtown Washington summer events, Shepherd said
Again this year, the market is hosting businesses around the square. Last year a committee was formed to assist Shepherd with the market. Chair Ann Williams said the market is not the only thing thriving on Thursday evenings, but the other businesses around the square as well. She said coming to the market is a family event. Starting last year, local businesses were featured at the market. Guests are also allowed to come to the events, with nonprofit groups being allowed to set up at the market three times per year.
Beginning later this summer, musical acts will perform during Thursday Night Live, sponsored by the Washington Chamber of Commerce, and a Washington Municipal Band concert will be held in conjunction with the market for a full Thursday night event.
Many special events are also planned this year.
The BBQ and Smoker Challenge will be held July 12. The 19th annual Taster?s Choice salsa contest will be held Aug. 30.
The Washington Evening Journal will continue to feature its ?We Saw You At The Farmers Market? game, beginning at the May 24 market.