Crowds young and old spent a sunny Saturday morning in Merchants Square for the Williamsburg Farmers Market, which opened for its 18th season in the city earlier this month.
Executive director and market manager Tracy Frey said the market averages 4,000 visitors each weekend. With temperatures in the mid-70s, vendors and attendees agreed that Saturday’s farmers market was an early spring success.
“We’ve gotten really lucky with the weather, which makes a huge difference, and we’ve added some new vendors which have all been received very well, but everybody wants to be out and about in the fresh weather,” Frey said.
As local residents, tourists and college students strolled through Merchants Square, vendors offered everything from meat and produce to baked goods, flowers and even pet treats.
The roster of vendors for the weekly farmers market is now up to 63 Virginia-based businesses, Frey said. New additions for this year are farm-based cideries and meaderies.
“I think it’s going to be great season, and it’s already started off strong,” she said. “I’m glad to see that all of the people are back and making this a part of their routine.”
Liz Haas, co-owner of the Goochland-based Haashrooms mushroom farm, said she’s been selling fresh culinary and medicinal mushrooms at the local farmers market for three years.
“Attendance has been great, but it’s all dependent on weather,” she said.
Williamsburg resident Bill Fisher said the sunny day brought him and his wife out to the farmers market Saturday morning. He said that he and his wife have tried to visit the farmers market regularly since moving to the area last year.
“We love it here at Merchants Square, farmers market or not,” he said.
Toano resident William Druschel said he’s a devout Williamsburg Farmers Market attendee, making the trip to Merchants Square every weekend for the past 14 years. He sat on a bench Saturday morning enjoying live music from local Irish traditional folk music group So'lach and drinking a bottle of kombucha from an area vendor.
“My daughter was here last weekend and introduced me to it, so I’ve been getting my refill,” he said. “I come for the atmosphere and the exercise, and to watch all of the people.”
Claudia Glazier, owner of Prince George County-based Buttery Baking House, agreed that the warm weather made the event a success. She was at the farmers market selling her home-made pastries, which included croissants, tarts and cookies.
“This is actually our second year in the market and it’s been great so far, and we just love the community of Williamsburg,” Glazier said. “I’m pretty sure that it’s going to be one of our best days, it’s very nice and the weather is comfortable for everybody.”
Want to go?
The Williamsburg Farmers Market runs from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays in Merchants Square between Boundary and Henry Streets. For more information, visit: williamsburgfarmersmarket.com.
Arriaza can be reached at 757-790-9313 or on Twitter @rodrigoarriaza0.