Summer Farmers’ Market moving to Washington Street

Published 12:03 pm Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The fourth annual Vicksburg Farmers’ Market will be shorter than in previous years and will move to Washington Street, organizers announced Tuesday.

The summer market featuring locally grown produce and homemade items will be moved to a city-owned grassy lot on the east side of Washington Street between Jackson and Grove streets, Kristen Meehan told the Main Street Board of Directors.

For its first three years, the market was in parking areas near Catfish Row and Levee Street Depot.

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“It’s the best location,” said Meehan, who, along with Mary Beth Lasseter, volunteers to organize the market. “We’re really excited to be on Washington Street. It helps to bring traffic to the downtown area.”

Last summer, the market was forced to move to the parking lot in front of LD’s Kitchen on Mulberry Street from the area across from the depot because of construction to renovate the 103-year-old depot.

The parking lot did not work well, however, Meehan said.

“We felt we were impeding parking for LD’s, and it was hard for traffic,” she said.

The new site is where supporters of the Margaret’s Grocery preservation project are hoping to place the North Washington Street art icon, turning it into a downtown attraction.

Suzi Altman, a Jacksonian spearheading the project, said Tuesday the group is not ready for a move anyway.

This year’s market will operate May 21 through July 31, two weeks short of previous runs, partly because of the heat, Meehan said.

“August was just so hot,” she said. “And we weren’t seeing so many people out by then. Our farmers were also being depleted of their produce by then. It’s really important to us what our growers are bringing.

The market averages 15 vendors each time it’s open, twice weekly. Last year, she said, about 6,000 people shopped on Saturday mornings and Wednesday afternoons.

Hours will continue to be from 8 to 11 a.m. on Saturdays and from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Vendor registration is open and available online at www.vicksburgfarmersmarket.org.

The cost for a vendor to set up is $100, but is refunded if the vendor participates all season, Meehan said.

Daily rates, ranging from $15 to $25, also are available, she said.