July Fourth preview: Farmers Market to join Fourth of July celebrations (7/2/09)

Williston residents have freedom to buy local

July 2, 2009

By Ben Portnoy

Observer correspondent

On July 4, not only will Williston residents celebrate America’s independence, but they will also witness a historic town first. For the first time ever, the Williston Farmers’ Market on the Village Green will take place on Independence Day.


    File photo
Anna Arsovski of Williston helps herself to some crushed ice from a box of fresh vegetables during a Williston Farmers’ Market in August 2007. With the Fourth of July falling on a Saturday this year, the market will run on Independence Day for the first time.

Since May 30, local vendors at the Williston Farmers’ Market have sold fresh fruits and vegetables, freshly baked goods, wines and artisan products every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This year, the Fourth of July falls on a Saturday, and Williston Farmers’ Market Manager Christina Mead decided to take advantage of the opportunity by keeping the regular hours.

“It just happened to be that July Fourth fell on a Saturday this year,” Mead said. “It will be great to participate in the community celebration of July Fourth and will give people who haven’t visited the market a chance to shop fresh and buy local.”

Concerns have been raised about the amount of space that the Farmers’ Market will take up and that it may interfere with regular festivities.

“I did consider whether or not it would be a problem to have them going on at the same time,” Williston Recreation director Kevin Finnegan said, “but after speaking with Christina, I don’t anticipate that there will be any issues.”

According to Mead, the July Fourth Farmers’ Market will consist of the normal 20 to 25 vendors that will set up on the Village Green between the sidewalk and Central School Drive.

“This will keep the main part of the green open for the regular July Fourth activities,” Mead explained. “There is plenty of parking in the (Williston Central School) parking lots and the larger lot by the recreational fields.”

As for how the vendors feel about having to work on the holiday, Susan Busch of Three Brother’s Bake Shop, a regular vendor at the Farmers’ Market, is looking at the bigger picture.

“I think Williston’s July Fourth holiday festivities will benefit the vendors at the market, bringing in potential customers who might not have thought to stop at the market otherwise,” Busch said.

If the integration of the Farmers’ Market is a success, Busch would like to see it become a permanent addition to the July Fourth festivities.

“The market would be a nice addition to the July Fourth celebration, giving more variety and options to people attending the parade and activities on the green,” Busch said.

Finnegan said that if all goes well, he would consider having the Farmers’ Market operate on a regular basis for future July Fourth celebrations.

“Over the years we’ve developed a number of activities on the (Village) Green during the Fourth that lends a carnival type atmosphere,” Finnegan said. “I suspect that the market will only enhance that feeling.”

For more information about the Williston Farmers’ Market or the vendors, visit www.WillistonFarmersMarket.com.