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31st annual farmers market begins Thursday

GTNS file photo

The 31st annual Washington Farmers Market will begin its season on Thursday, May 16, from 5-7:30 p.m. in the Washington square.
GTNS file photo The 31st annual Washington Farmers Market will begin its season on Thursday, May 16, from 5-7:30 p.m. in the Washington square.
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Thursday nights will once again become high-traffic nights in downtown Washington as the 31st annual farmers market will begin Thursday, May 16, from 5-7:30 p.m.

Main Street Washington Executive Director, Sarah Grunewaldt, said about 20 vendors come to the market each year with new ones added yearly. Vendors are typically from the area but do not have to be. The only requirement is that their products must be handmade.

“They don’t have to be from the county, but most of them are from the county or surrounding area,” she said. “The only stipulations we have are we are a true growers-makers market so you have to make it, bake it, or grow it.”

On average, the farmers market sees more than 500 people a month from around the area. Grunewaldt attributes the success to the quality of the vendors who work the market.

“It is kind of a tradition here in town, but the vendors that come to our market, the produce that they bring is great. They’re personable, they get to know you, it’s that one-on-one connection,” she said.

The friendly environment of the market makes it unique, she feels, and the social connection with local makers helps to drive the success of the event year after year.

“It is a social market. People come for the camaraderie and the conversation and it’s become a place where people come on their Thursday nights to socialize, to eat, to shop, get their great produce, listen to some music and just enjoy the summer weather.”

Because all the products at the Washington Farmers Market are required to be homegrown or crafted, she feels the quality is improved because they are created with love and with the community in mind.

“The growers who come to our market obviously have to grow it themselves, so these are people who are devoting hours and hours of their lives to these plants to make them the best possible product, and there is a difference between a tomato you buy at the grocery store and a tomato you buy from a vendor,” she said. “They taste better and they’re fresher because they’re generally picked that morning.”

The market begins Thursday, May 16, and continues every Thursday night until Thursday, Oct. 17, from 5-7:30 p.m. in the Washington square.