With just four weeks left at the Riverwalk Farmers Market in downtown Milford, residents and visitors to Milford have a lot to be excited about. With live entertainment, fresh fall produce and opportunities to discover the downtown’s shopping district, the Farmers Market experience strengthens the community feeling that has been reenergized by children returning to school.
This year, the Riverwalk Farmers Market has once again experienced success as it continues to grow. On average, 382 shoppers have attended the market weekly this year, compared to 317 last year, a 21% increase. Weekly sales have averaged $6,617 this year compared to $5,343 last year; a 24% increase. The average number of weekly vendors has grown from 23 this year to 18 last year, a 27% increase. Market organizer Melissa Pingue, credits that success to the Riverwalk Farmers Market committee that helps to organize the event each week and year, the quality vendors at the market and the active customers that return weekly and annually.
“[The success of the market comes from] A loyal, dedicated and creative committee made up of vendors and customers that will do what ever it takes to make the market successful. The success of the market is critical for keeping Downtown Milford thriving,” said Pingue. “Second, our local vendors that have a variety of offerings and that are loyal to the Riverwalk Farmers Market and its customers. Finally, The customer’s returning each week and spreading the word about the market. They are proud of their market and have voted to make us one of the top markets in the state.” According to American Farmland Trust, the Riverwalk Farmers Market is the second best market in the state of Delaware and ranked 40th in the country.
Longtime market vendor Little Wagon Produce states that their crew has seen very large crowds so far this year and that they expect even more market goers over the next several weeks as “produce is in peak season, especially sweet corn.”
“The variety of vendors is an advantage because it gives patrons more to choose from: produce, bakery, meat, mushrooms, ice cream, cut flowers, hair bows, popcorn, crafts, and soap,” said Becky Vanderwende of Little Wagon Produce. This month, Little Wagon will have melons and peaches for about three more weeks as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and sweet corn should be available through October.
Live entertainment for the rest of the Farmers Market season will be abundant. On September 5 Eric Roberts Band will perform, on September 12 the Farmer’s Market will participate from 9 to 4 in the annual Riverwalk Freedom
Festival, on September 19 the market will feature the music stylings of Matt Lafferty, on September 26 First State Dance Academy will perform and on October 3 the group Imagine will sing. The Farmers Market’s last date is October 3 where the market will celebrate a customer appreciation day that Saturday by giving shoppers samples of of local food and cider. Until then, the market will continue to run each Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm. The location of the market is 7 South Walnut Street, across from the Riverfront Theatre on the Mispillion River. For more information on the 2015 Riverwalk Farmers’ Market, individuals are encouraged to visit DMI at www.downtownmilford.org or call 302-839-1180.