This season’s Farmer’s Market is the biggest one yet; event kicks off Saturday
Published 5:48 am Friday, April 28, 2023
BY LANCE GAITHER
With this season’s Farmer’s Market at Constitution Square on track to be the biggest one yet with more than 40 vendors, Executive Director of the Danville-Boyle County Chamber of Commerce Jeffery Jewel is proud to see the market’s success.
Email newsletter signup
“We are one of the biggest farmer’s markets in the state,” Jewel said. “It has been really fun the last couple years to see Danville’s market in community farm and agricultural brochures and magazines. Especially during the pandemic it has been great to have such a beautiful outdoor space. It became a community safety net. Another aspect is the educational part, we try to have people out here teaching likes what to do with too much summer squash. There is also the economic education. If you spend your money at a chain grocery store that money leaves your community. If you spend it with a local farmer it stays in the community. When you buy your food from the person that grew it gives it more meaning all around.”
In anticipation of this year’s market, the stage at the park has had a roof and new electrical outlets installed.
“It will be really helpful for the bands,” Jewell said. “The farmers don’t mind the rain but the musicians can’t be on the stage with their amplifiers in the rain. It is a bit of a funny story, we have been talking about doing it for a couple years. After Judge Executive Trille Bottom got elected I gave her a call about 10 days after and she already had people working on it.”
Jewel hopes to make further improvements to electrical infrastructure in the park, repair roofs of the log cabins in the park, and improve the side walks.
“Those old brick sidewalks get a bit finicky after a while,“ Jewel said. “It is a little tricky, because we have talked about stamped concrete but where it is a historical site we have to use bricks. We want to try and use the existing bricks and put in a bed underneath them.”
There is an effort to incorporate more history into the farmer’s market using the log cabins at the park.
“We have a committee working on better historical interpretation and bringing back some artifacts that don’t need to be in climate control,” Jewel said. “We also want remove some of the barriers, we have already removed the plexiglass in some. We want to make them more interactive and have makers like weavers come to the buildings and work so people can talk to them. We are also looking to getting the tavern back into use for tourism and we have a lot of talk about getting bourbon tastings there.”
Jewel thinks that the completed Streetscape project and market can benefit each other,
“When I first moved here five years ago you could roll a bowling ball down Main Street on Saturday morning,” Jewel said. “Now it is busy on Saturday mornings. You see people going back and forth, coming to the market, then going downtown for lunch or shopping.”