WHITINGHAM -- How is a local group planning to get more traffic into establishments along Route 112 and Route 100?
Every Friday from June 20 to Oct. 10, the Whitingham Farmers' Market will be held in the Jacksonville Municipal Center parking lot from 4 to 7 p.m.
According to Market Manager Kristine Sweeter, the Whitingham Economic Development Group began organizing the event over the last several months. She is also a member of that group.
"We were discussing ways to showcase economic development locally and this was one of our ideas. Through talking to other people, possible vendors and visitors, it seemed to get a really great response," she said. "We looked into forming a farmers' market and we decided to go ahead with it. There was a lot of interest when we asked around."
The group held an informational meeting early in May, where vendors could register for the farmers' market. It also used social media, e-mail and print media to advertise the upcoming events.
Over 50 people attended the initial meeting, which Sweeter said was extremely encouraging for organizers. Currently, 20 vendors have confirmed that they will be attending nearly every week.
In addition to homegrown and local fruits and vegetables, there will be brick oven pizza and other food vendors. The market will also have handcrafts, jewelry, maple syrup, pottery and plants available for sale. There will be hand spinning demonstrations and organizers hope to have live music, too.
"There is a huge variety of vendors coming. They seem to be originating out of Halifax, Wilmington, Brattleboro, East Dover, Townshend, Newfane and towns from the Deerfield River region in Massachusetts," Sweeter said. "We have a lot of different farms that will be participating as well as individuals."
In the future, she says she sees the farmers' market continuing and growing.
"People seem to be really excited about this. It's a great event to bring money into our area," said Sweeter.
Applications and guidelines are available on the website townofwhitingham-vt.org. The Economic Development group has a Facebook page called "Whitingham Edg." Sweeter can reached at the Whitingham Free Public Library at 802-368-7506.
Recently, the Economic Development Group was responsible for a beautification project where people adopted flower bottles put up throughout the town. The group also supported the Route 100 Scenic Byway designation and it has put up historical signage around Whitingham and Jacksonville.
There are six members of the group that currently reports back to the Whitingham Selectboard. The group was a result of tri-town efforts started with Dover and Wilmington back in 2006.
Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.