It didn’t appear to be the largest opening night crowd in history – but it was also a little difficult to tell.
Visitors to the first of the season Oakdale Farmers Market in the downtown area on Wednesday, May 6 had to make stops on both sides of F Street if they wanted to capture the flavor and soak up all the sights and sounds of the fest.
The market is scheduled to run each Wednesday night through Sept. 2, with hours from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.
For opening night, the traditional farm fresh vendors with their fruits, vegetables, nuts, honey and baked goods were set up along North Third Avenue, where the market has been centrally located the past few years. House of Beef also had their barbecue grill set up and had a long line of patrons waiting to purchase food.
But other market offerings, including a musician, the popular Kettle Korn vendor, some merchandise and business booths, were set up in the plaza adjacent to the city’s Community Center on South Second Avenue. That forced visitors to go across the busy F Street corridor to visit both sides of the fest and did lead to some confusion if patrons didn’t know the market had been split into the two locales.
The set-up will be evaluated to determine its effectiveness and could change, depending on how best the market can draw in a steady stream of customers throughout the summer months.
For those that did attend and visited both spots, North Third and South Second, there were a fair number of booths and the first offerings of fruits and vegetables had plenty of patrons pleased with the fresh produce and good prices.
The market is being overseen this year by the Oakdale Tourism and Visitors Bureau. Officials said they will update an Oakdale Public Market Facebook page regularly to highlight upcoming events for each weekly market.