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Opening Day: A Market tradition

The 30th season of the Farmington Farmers Market is almost here. Though we’re still a few days away from ringing the market bell that I know too well, I can see it all in my mind’s eye ...

Shortly before 9 a.m. on May 6, the booms will start at the far end of Market Place Street. They will be followed by a quick succession of rat-a-tats on a snare drum as the Farmington High School band sets itself in motion led by a color guard en marche to the Walter Sundquist Pavilion. That’s where all will gather with hands over hearts for our national anthem, this year performed by Farmington local Megan Cromwell.

The Mayor's Welcome will follow, and we'll reflect for a moment on 30 years of local farm trucks trundling faithfully into downtown Farmington.  Then a farmer will step forward to speak. There will be smiles, maybe some tears and the roar of many cheers. Miss Farmington Cities, Carrington Wash, will ring the market bell. Above the din of hands clapping, someone is sure to bellow for all to hear: "The farmers market is open!"

And so will begin the 30th season of a market in downtown Farmington.  Bandmates will make their way over to Petey's Donuts as nearly 50 vendors will open up shop. Included will be three newcomers: the Gleehead Baking Company, the Local Soup Company and Paul’s Plant Starts featuring Michigan-native perennial plants. The colors of spring will be on display as farmers showcase hanging baskets, porch pots, bedding plants, farm-raised herbs and vegetable starts. If we are lucky, we might see two of my early season favorites on the farm tables: asparagus and spinach!

Ground Control coffee will be brewing and serving fresh pots of the day’s  featured roast as shoppers stroll amongst vendors spread out over 50,000 square feet of open air. In many ways it will feel like a reunion. The words "Welcome back" and “It's good to see you again" will fill the air. 

As market manager, I find myself at the local hardware store a lot. So convenient! For opening day, Great Lakes Ace, just down the street, is bringing outdoor hardware to the Market, featuring a full line of grilling equipment and helpful tools for yard and garden. In the spirit of celebrating a new spring, the grills will be put to work on Market Place Street, serving free samples of tasty barbecue!  

Steve Taylor, fresh off a trio of Detroit music awards, will perform at 10 a.m. Out on Market Place Street, the grill will be hot as the People's Pierogi Collective works off a chalkboard featuring an assortment of pierogis from traditional potato and cheese to spinach and artichoke. There's even a breakfast version! Over on the south side of the pavilion, Olive Thyme will be serving up their market-favorite creations. Will we have the pearl couscous or maybe a gooey-good mac-n-cheese?  

These choices and many more will abound as we settle in to the return of Saturday life in a Michigan small town. Please feel welcome to come see it, feel it and taste it. And when we say things like "It's more than fresh. It's Farmington,” you’ll know what we mean.

Until next time and as always, here's saying: "See you at the Market!"

Walt Gajewski
Market Manager

If you have a question, email