Friday, June 1, 2007

Hailey farmers? market to open on new site

Weekly summer event set to begin June 7

Express Staff Writer

Artists? Market manager Alissa McGonigal, right, cuts the ribbon to the new location of the combined Farmers and Artists? Market on Main Street in Hailey. Artists? Market co-manager Heidi Mexia, left, and Farmers Market manager Kaz Thea, center, help celebrate the efforts of the numerous volunteers who assisted in creating a grass-covered space for the weekly summer event. Photo by David N. Seelig

Thanks to donations and a significant volunteer effort, the Wood River Farmers' Market and the Hailey-based Artists' Market will have a new, grassy venue for their weekly event throughout the summer.

The new site, on an open lot between Sturtevants and Bank of America on Main Street in Hailey, will house the market every Thursday, beginning June 7 and running through September 13, with operating hours of 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

As the markets have grown over previous summers, there has been an increase in customers requesting that the organizations hold their events in one location.

Last year, the Artists' Market was held in the promenade between The Mint bar and Polka Dot Janes, and the Farmers' Market was on the pavement of Bullion Square.

"This is so much better than a parking lot," said Kaz Thea, manager of the Farmers' Market, during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new location on Wednesday, May 30.

More than 30 volunteers participated in two work parties, laying sod and topsoil provided by the Hailey Nursery and Webb Landscape, and setting in place planters donated by Lily & Fern and Clearwater Landscaping.

In addition, the market received approximately $3,600 in donations and help from Hailey resident Nick Stelma with irrigation.

"The effort shown here really redefined what commitment is," Thea said, congratulating volunteers for their accomplishments over the past month. The volunteers replaced the rocks and debris that had previously covered the lot with grass and crushed-stone walking paths.

The combined market will offer 44 vendor booths—28 for farmers, 14 for artists and one each for information and children. As well, there will be hot food and dessert vendors.

Behind the tents there is a small stage for musicians and a grassy area for families to sit and listen to the music.

"We're really excited about coming together on a green space," said Alissa McGonigal, manager of the Artists' Market. "This is a really big part of summer in Hailey."

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