Downtown Milford Inc. (DMI) will kick off the 2016 Riverwalk Farmers’ Market on Saturday, May 7, beginning at 9am to 1pm. With a focus on local, quality produce and products, DMI will provide an opportunity for the Milford community to come together and enjoy shopping for a variety of locally grown fruits, vegetables, herbs and plants, baked goods, prepared foods and other locally produced items. The renewed attention that has been given to the Farmers’ Market in recent years by DMI offers Milford residents the opportunity to support local farm families and the Milford economy.
“Our market is a weekly social event. People are able to meet and interact with their neighbors and local farmers face to face. In a modern world of computers and Facebook it is nice to get outdoors, breath in the fresh air and meet people,” said Melissa Pinque, Riverwalk Farmers’ Market Chairperson. “We also offer such a wide variety of produce, meats, baked goods and handmade items. Things you can’t find in large chain stores.”
Last year, the Riverwalk Farmers’ Market once again experienced success as it continues to grow. On average, 382 shoppers attended the market weekly last year, compared to 317 in 2014, a 21% increase. Weekly sales averaged $6,617 last year compared to $5,343 in 2014; a 24% increase. The average number of weekly vendors grew this year as 39 participants are committed in 2016. 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.
This year will mark the 21st season of the Farmers’ Market in Milford. The tradition of the Milford Farmer’s Market began with residents of Milford merely backing their pickup trucks up to the Mispillion River to share their vegetables, fruits and handmade items with other locals on Saturday mornings. It has now evolved into an affair that not only preserves the small town feel of Milford but also promotes downtown Milford as a center for economic activity.
“One of our goals is also to help promote our downtown businesses. Whenever someone stops at the DMI market table it is part of the Market Masters job to point to the handouts and business cards and tell people about the businesses and encourage them to walk down and visit,” said Pingue. “Our market and downtown are small but we offer a lot of quality and provide unique experiences that you won’t find in other small towns. This, I believe, is what keeps people coming back.”
Those who attend the Farmers’ Market on Saturday mornings will be welcomed by familiar faces and new vendors alike. DMI welcomes back Dave’s Nursery, Davidson Exotic Mushrooms, Evans Farm Produce, Flagstone, Fortunate Bakery, Handmade Baskets, Gravelly Run Farm, Joan Dau, LJ’s Fresh Lamb, Little Wagon Produce, Lu-La-Bees Cupcakery, Nash Farms, Mispillion Art League, Pearls of Elegance, Petite Sweets, Reid Angus LLC, Schlock’s Soaps, Shell Chics, Sugar & Spice and Everything Nice, TS Smith & Sons Inc., Triple M Farms, Twisted Fruit, Vaya Wissman and Water Girl Farm. New Vendor products will include A Dyeing Breed, Angela Godek, Cagey Mountain Essentials, Dolce Bakery & Coffee, Good News Natural Foods, Heatherscents, Lavender Fields, MP Arts, Milford FFA, Mule Run Meats, The Cheese Board, The Farmette, Timmy Jo Given and Totem Farms for a total of 39 vendors.
The Market will also have entertainment throughout the year with the Dixieland Band opening the season on May 7 and will perform on June 4, July 2 and August 13; the Annual Strawberry Social and Master Gardeners Puppet Show on May 21; Delmarva Pigeon Club on May 28; Abbott’s Mill Nature Center on June 11 and July 30; TADA dance studio on June 18; Master Gardeners in July ; Music School of Delaware performs on July 16; and DuPont Nature Centurion August 20.
The market will run each Saturday from May 7 through October 1, from 9 am to 1 pm. The location of the market is 7 South Walnut Street, across from the Riverfront Theatre. DMI is welcoming new volunteers to serve on our Farmers Market Committee. For more information on the 2015 Riverwalk Farmers’ Market, individuals are encouraged to visit DMI at www.downtownmilford.org or call 302-839-1180.
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