The Main Street Farmers Market will wrap up its 10th season with a final regular weekly market Saturday morning and then put a bow on it Tuesday night with Shopping by Lantern Light.
As usual, the Saturday market will be open from 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. in Charlie Olliff Square, off East Main Street behind Sea Island Bank.
“We have about an equal number of produce vendors and farmers and food purveyors with prepared foods, and then we have a smaller number of craft vendors because we’re primarily a food market, but we do have a few of those as well,” said Market Manager Melanie Sparrow, describing how Saturday markets shape up all season.
Since beginning the first Saturday in April, the 35 regular markets have averaged about $5,300 in sales each, with a typical attendance of almost 1,000 shoppers, reported Paula Freeman, accountant for the Main Street Farmers Market. About 30 participating vendors have been typical, out of 40 signed up for the season, Sparrow said.
Statesboro-area bands and solo acts have brought live music to every market day except one Saturday in the summer. Past seasons’ markets did not have music that often, she said.
This Saturday’s featured performer is acoustic country and classic rock singer Chyann Rose, a regular at the markets.
From Saturday’s produce vendors, expect mostly winter vegetables such as cabbage, collards, sweet potatoes and other greens and root vegetables.
Locally grown citrus fruit is also in season.
“The Satsumas just came in, so Franklin’s Citrus is there,” Sparrow said. “They’re one of our seasonal vendors.”
A “special guest vendor,” Doug’s Wild Alaska Salmon, is also expected Saturday.
“He lives in South Carolina, but he’s an Alaskan fisherman and he sells at our market, and he is incredibly popular,” Sparrow said.
Music, crafts Tuesday
Shopping by Lantern Light, 6-8 p.m. Tuesday in the same area as the regular markets, will feature traditional, or “Americana,” musicians Micahlan Boney and the Pig Eye Daddies, plus many craft items and more prepared foods than the morning markets.
“So people can actually eat dinner and walk around the market and shop, and we’ll have some local catering companies as well,” Sparrow said.
Among 20 scheduled vendors are Mascot Pecan, Soap Batch with handmade soaps, Georgia Farm Products with persimmons, Mark’s Boards with refurbished wood items, local author Jenny Massey, Treats & Sweets by Iris, Franklin Citrus again and purveyors of a cookbook, honey, Christmas ornaments and handmade purses.
The 2017 season ends in transition for the Main Street Farmers Market, which operates as an arm of the Downtown Statesboro Development Authority but has its own board. Sparrow, who has served two seasons as market manager, is moving on, as are some other individuals in key roles.
Sparrow has another job in Statesboro. She said that two full-time jobs are too much but that she will continue to support the market.
“I will continue to shop there, just like I have, and I’ve made a great connections, I’ve made a lot of friends,” she said.
The affiliated online market, Statesboro Market2Go, continues year-round, with deliveries for pickup at Sugar Magnolia Bakery, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. every Thursday except Thanksgiving. See http://statesborofarmersmarket.com/market2go.