Residents in Bryan County and the surrounding areas who are ready to stock up on fresh veggies, handmade crafts, live plants and more won’t have to wait for long as farmers markets in both Pembroke and Richmond Hill open next week.
Pembroke’s Whistlestop Farmers Market will open Saturday, while Richmond Hill Farmers Market gets underway Tuesday in J.F. Gregory Park.
“We’ll have local honey, wild-caught Georgia shrimp, cookies, cakes, seven produce vendors selling fresh vegetables, pasta, olive oil, boiled peanuts, kettle corn, preserves, sauces, quality hand crafts,” and more, said Richmond Hill Market Manager Angus McLeod.
The market is open every Tuesday from 3-7 p.m., McLeod said, noting the market committee is “excited and fired up” about the season.
“We’ll have a live remote radio station, 92.3 Classic Country will broadcast live the first Tuesday of every month,” he said. “We’ve also picked up 13 sponsors to help with advertisement and promotion.”
McLeod added the first market will include a food truck that will sell hot wings, hot dogs, hamburgers, barbecue and more. The market will also feature live entertainment.
While the radio broadcast, sponsors and food truck are new to the market this year, market attendees will find the same vendors as previous years.
“We’re expecting 32-40 vendors for the first market and all of our regulars will be back,” he said, adding he expects more than 800 people to attend the first market.
McLeod said vendors come from Waynesboro, Savannah, Bluffton, Hilton Head, Jesup, Claxton, Baxley and Brooklet, while market attendees come from Darien, Jesup, Savannah and other areas.
“We have one of the best venues in the south for a market — there is plenty of parking, vendors can back their vehicles into the booth, they have electricity, running water and it’s covered,” he said.
McLeod said vendors who are interested in participating in the market can contact him at 912-572-5888. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/RichmondHillFarmersMarket or www.RHGA-Market.com.
According to Sharroll Fanslau, executive director of the Downtown Development Authority, the Whistlestop Market will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Dubois Square following the city’s Easter celebration.
“We hope for a good turnout for both the egg hunt and market,” Fanslau said in an email. “We have partnered with Pembroke United Methodist Church this year and expect quite a few folks — a couple hundred I’d say.”
Fanslau said due to competition in surrounding areas and weather, the city will only host five markets this year.
“Each will be centered around a specific theme: Easter, National Night Out, Halloween and two yard sales,” she said. “Summer is also so hot, and due to the safety concerns of our vendors, as well as our community and customers, we opted not to try to do much during the extreme heat.”
Fanslau said Saturday’s market has about 10 confirmed vendors. Throughout the market season, market-goers can expect to see many craft vendors along with produce vendors.
“For the most part, our ‘farmers’ market has become a ‘crafters’ market,” Fanslau said. “We have very few farmer vendors due to area competition, but we do have a few and usually have plenty of craft variations.”
Though they are scaling down this year, Fanslau said the city and DDA are excited about the season.
“We are looking forward to the upcoming season,” she said. “Any time you can bring your community together, even for a short period of time, it helps them remember what we have and why we love it.”
Fanslau said vendors, both new and veteran, are always welcome. Spaces are $15 with electricity and $10 without. For more information, contact Fanslau at City Hall at 653-4413 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.