Downtown Market taking shape

Published 8:36 am Wednesday, May 13, 2009

FRANKLIN—The final pieces of the city’s Farmers’ Market are coming together, just in time for Saturday’s grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Volunteers were busy assembling 14 wooden vendor stands at the market, located at 210 S. Main St., on Monday afternoon. The market officially opens at 8 a.m. Saturday, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at 9 a.m.

“This has been a long time coming for us,” said Victor Story. “A lot of us have blood sweat and tears in putting it together. We’re looking forward to offering a nice place for our farmers to sell their goods.”

The market will be open for vendor sales, meaning those from any local or regional grower or producer within a 75-mile radius of Franklin that is licensed to sell in the city, from 8

a.m. through 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Prime hours will also be from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays, beginning with the third Saturday in May and ending with the last Saturday in October and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursdays, beginning with the fourth Thursday in May through the last Thursday in October.

All of the hours are rain or shine. Since this will be the market’s first year of operation, the hours may be amended as time goes on.

According to recently amended city code, the market will be a place “for the sale of produce, eggs, honey, cider, cut flowers, potted and bare roots plants, homemade crafts, firewood and such other items as may be approved by the Downtown Franklin Association through its Farmers’ Market Advisory Board.”

The DFA will manage the market under the supervision of a market manager. Courtland resident Kathy Brown, retired from the Air Force, was chosen for the volunteer position. Brown and her husband, Jeff, also will be vendors at the market.

All vendor fees have been waived for the 2009 season. The market envisions collecting vendor fees for the 2010 season, the money from which will be used to promote help operate the market. A fee schedule will be posted later this year.

Vendors who currently sell their items at the Armory Drive location will have to move downtown.

Vendors can become season pass holders, thereby committing to the entire prime season of May through October, and agreeing to participate in at least 80 percent of market days. Another option for vendors are to become monthly pass holders, who must commit to all Saturdays in a particular month. Guest vendors will be invited to participate in individual days at the discretion of the market manager.

During Thursday evening and off-season times, the market manager will assign sites for vendors to set up on a first-come, first-served basis. Season pass holders looking to set up on Thursday nights, along with regular Saturdays, will get priority sites.

The city will also have its Day in the Park celebration at Barrett’s Landing from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.