NEWMAN - A farmer’s market will return to Newman this spring, organizers have announced.
The City of Newman and Newman Chamber of Commerce are teaming up to present an eight-week market, explained Alicia Mendoza, community liaison for the city.
Mendoza said the spring market will be held Fridays from 3:30-7:30 through the months of May and June.
The pandemic prompted cancellation of last spring’s market, but the city and chamber were able to offer a fall harvest market event.
Mendoza and chamber representative Michael Passarelli said the organizers hope to build on the success of the fall market.
“I was very surprised at the response to the fall market,” Mendoza explained. “It was something that we attempted without really knowing what to expect.”
The success of the fall market speaks both to the community and the partnership between the city and chamber.
Mendoza said a number of vendors who participated in the fall market have indicated that they plan to return for the spring event.
Passarelli agreed, noting that “over 50 percent of the vendors from our previous farmer’s market have called us to make sure they were signed up for this year.”
While the farmer’s market label is synonymous with freshly harvested fruits and vegetables, Mendoza said the weekly event will offer a wide variety of vendors to complement the produce booths.
“We currently have about 40 vendors signed up, and we are seeking more,” she explained. “We are definitely looking for crafters and artisans to participate as well. I would also love to have more produce and food vendors (that do not directly compete with downtown restaurants).”
She said the market is an ideal outlet for those who have turned to crafts and other items conducive to pop-up sales.
“This market offers a structured foundation for these small businesses,” Mendoza remarked.
Last fall, the harvest market was paired with the Main Street Eats outdoor dining program. Main Street Eats will not be offered this spring but will return again in the fall, Mendoza explained.
Those interested in being a vendor at the upcoming market may email Mendoza at firstname.lastname@example.org; call her at 678-6271; or visit State Farm Insurance in downtown Newman to pick up an application.
The farmer’s market is just one of many activities which the city plans to offer in coming months.
Mendoza, who is also the city’s recreation director, said a Fit Kids program is being planned for the summer, as well as movie nights.
The Fit Kids program will be in July, she said, with sign-ups in April.
Movie nights are being planned for the months of June, July and August.
Mendoza also hopes to resume youth soccer in the fall, if county guidance allows.
“We are trying to get a little bit of normalcy,” she commented. “Our town thrives on community....if we can provide activities that are safe, that is what we are going to do.”
City Manager Michael Holland concurred.
“We are planning as if we are going to be offer Fit Kids and movie nights,” he told Mattos Newspapers. “I don’t think there is anything that will keep us from offering movie nights, even if it requires (those attending to stay in) family pods. We think there is an opportunity to provide Fit Kids. It may be limited, which is a challenge, but it is something. We want to try to bring some normalcy back to our community and our families. We think that we can do it in a safe manner and provide that for our community.”