The St. Clair Route 66 Farmers Market will open for the season on Saturday at its new home.
The city’s board of aldermen gave its blessing for the market to operate out of the parking lot on the north side of city hall during a meeting earlier this month. Market representatives had requested use of the city property earlier this year.
Hours throughout the season, which is expected to last through October, will be from 8 a.m. to noon.
An official grand opening is scheduled for May 17.
City Administrator Rick Childers said the organization has provided proof of limited liability insurance coverage and a hold harmless agreement.
“We’re really excited about the market this year,” farmers market committee member Gerrie Brinker told The Missourian. “We’ve broken off on our own, which will allow us to continue to grow.”
For the past few years, the market had been under the umbrella of the St. Clair Area Chamber of Commerce. Organizer Paula Dace requested the market be allowed to split from the Chamber last year, and the Chamber’s board of directors agreed.
The market operated in the grassy area near the St. Clair Health Mart Pharmacy, but owners Steve and Sue Lindemann are planning to do some work there this year.
Brinker said almost 20 vendors have signed up to sell products this year. She said that on any given Saturday, at least 13 to 15 will show up.
“But we welcome others,” she said.
The intent of the St. Clair Route 66 Farmers Market is to offer homegrown or homemade products, whether they are food or craft items.
“It’s local producers offering local products,” Brinker said.
The north city hall parking lot will be blocked to through traffic while the market operates. Vehicles will be able to park near the St. Clair Ambulance District building.
The market will not impede St. Clair Police Department operations. The police department operates out of city hall.
In the parking lot, the vendor booths will be set up and the weekly market will operate in a similar fashion as to how it did when it was located in the grassy area near Health Mart.
Dace said she and the farmers market group that meets monthly agreed that the city hall parking lot was the best option for the relocation. Having it there will allow restroom access inside city hall.
“We’re really excited about this,” Dace told The Missourian “We think it will be a good thing for the continued success of the market.”
Reviving the market in 2011 was the brainstorm of Dace, former Chamber Director Terry Triphahn and Janet Hurst of Lincoln University. Before they became involved, the event went through a few unsuccessful years of having it on Friday nights along Main Street near the gazebo.