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Miami Co. Farmer's Market opens on Friday

By Blair Yankey - byankey@perutribune.com

Here comes another chance to shop fresh and local.

The Miami County Farmers Market will open for its ninth season on the lawn of the old Peru firehouse at the corner of North Miami and West Main Streets.

Vendors will set up shop on Friday, May 19, and continue each Friday, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., through Sept. 29.

Market Co-Manager Jim Price said 10 vendors plan to participate so far, offering an array of baked goods, eggs, handmade items and more. He said he isn’t anticipating a lot of produce right away, but more will be available as summer progresses.

“Right now, isn’t really good growing weather for produce,” Price said. “It will expand in the upcoming months, but produce is seasonal, whereas baked goods, eggs and homemade items are year-round.”

Some new additions expected this year will include farmer’s market t-shirts, market bags with a Miami County logo and music provided by Patrick Redmon’s “Under the Staircase,” according to Co-Manager Sandy Chittum.

The market this year is sponsored by Blair Ridge Health Campus and the Grissom Air Museum.

There is no application fee this year for those interested in selling at the market. Last year application fees were $25 until July and then were reduced to $15, according to previous reports.

Vendors are allowed a 12 x 12-foot space designated by the market manager. Vehicles belonging to the vendors must remain on the curb on Main and Miami streets, and they may not be parked in the firehouse parking lot.

Dropping the application fee is one way to find out who’s really interested in being a vendor, said Price. “Our idea was, let’s see what happens if you don’t have pay anything, and hopefully it will attract more vendors into participating.”

Chittum and Price, who are managing the event for their first year, both said expressed optimism about this year’s market. In previous years, the market was managed by Market Master Bob Radel.

“It’s a great way to learn about who’s living in the community, see who’s working, make a friend or two, and get the best bargain you ever had,” Price said. “So, venturing is a good thing – the more you venture out, the more you learn.”

Said Chittum: “It’s a nice gathering where people will be able to come down and relax, hang with us and enjoy meeting new friends and intermingle with old friends,” Plus, folks can “shop fresh and shop local.”