By Tara Goldstein
Starting May 11, the Laurel farmers market will be back in action for the first time since it was paused in 2018. The market will be held at 378 Main Street every other Thursday through Sept. 28, from 3 to 7 p.m.
The city will be running the market, which was previously sponsored by The Laurel Board of Trade. Organizers hope that city staffing and different hours will bring new vitality, along with more customers, to the stalls. The old market was staffed by volunteers, and its daytime-only hours kept some customers away.
The COVID-19 pandemic delayed plans to bring back the market, but city staff has been working behind the scenes with The Laurel Board of Trade to identify areas where improvements could be made. Because many of the vendors do other markets on the weekends, the city chose to stick with a Thursday schedule but decided to experiment with later hours to accommodate customers who aren’t available in the middle of the day.
City representatives are optimistic about the new format and see the market as a vital means of supporting the community.
“We just want to help rejuvenate the area and rejuvenate Main Street,” said Robet Love, director of the department of economic and community development. “We felt a strong farmers market would create a central place for people to gather.”
Love underscored that the market presents a great opportunity to interact with neighbors and support local farmers and artisans offering products like homemade jellies, honey or baked goods. In a tight knit community such as Laurel, Love said, a farmers market can strengthen a small-town feel. He and his entire team are working to kickstart the market with the hope that it will become an event that vendors and customers alike look forward to.
Space fees are $25 for Laurel vendors and $50 for outside vendors for the season (11 Thursdays, total). While city staff will be responsible for organizing the farmers market, volunteers are needed during the market to man the welcoming table and for other duties. For more information and to apply for a space, go to cityoflaurel.org/green/laurel-farmers-market.