Starting Thursday, July 6, the Perry Farmers Market will leave its longtime location at the Perry Marketplace for a new spot at the Josh Davis Memorial Plaza on Second Street in downtown Perry.
The open-air marketplace at Josh Davis , with the wide sidewalks between Willis Avenue and Warford Street also serving as vendor space, although organizers said the plans are still provisional.
Perry Chamber of Commerce Board member Emily Leslie has spearheaded the effort to move the market to the Josh Davis Plaza, with the aim of bringing in downtown merchants as vendors in the farmers market.
So far, the effort appears to be paying off.
“The Scottish Fox should be open tonight to show support for the Farmers Market,” Leslie said about midday Thursday as she finalized plans, “and Son Wong from the Mandarin Cafe just asked if could serve food tonight, too. So things are changing hourly.”
Leslie said the Perry Parks and Recreation Department crew has been busy laying new mulch, picking up and loose trash and planting new plants. She said they even used a skid loader to move planters around in preparation for the market crowds.
The bocce ball court has also been freshly raked, and balls will be available for anyone in the community brave enough to brave the heat of competition.
Leslie said developing a variety of vendors is key to keeping the market interesting and unpredictable.
“We want to try to inspire people,” she said, “so that if they have a hobby or a passion and they want to try selling their products, the Perry Farmers Market is a great place to start.”
Fresh produce is the heart of a farmers market, and the season’s bounties are ready to appear.
“I contacted Deal’s Apple Orchard,” Leslie said, “and they are very excited to come to the Perry farmers’ market as soon as their sweet corn is ready. He’s hoping for next week, but it all depends on the crops.”
She said the Perry Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the farmers market, will be reaching out to other organic growers in the Perry area and luring them to the revamped venue.
“We are going to continue to contact new vendors and vendors we have had in past to make sure the communication is clear in regards to the new and exciting location of the Perry Farmers’ Market,” Leslie said as she took another call in advance of Thursday’s trading from 4-7 p.m.
“Every merchant that I have spoken to downtown is so excited to bring more people to downtown Perry,” she said.