Fluctuations in Lindsay, Exeter farmers markets

Lindsay gets the city-wide party started this Friday, March 8 with the return of Tulare County’s most popular outdoor market.

Lindsay’s Friday Night Market and Street Faire kicks off its 2013 season this Friday. The market runs from 5-10 p.m. every Friday through Nov. 15 at Sweet Brier Plaza on North Sweet Briar Avenue between Hermosa Street and Apia Street and on Honolulu Street between Sweet Brier and Elmwood Avenue in downtown Lindsay.

“We expect to see between 4,000 to 5,000 people every Friday night,” said Market Director Virginia Loya. “We invite everyone to come and down and enjoy a great event. If you haven’t been you are missing out on something unique in Lindsay.”

Loya, who is also the Lindsay Chamber of Commerce Director, said the market has been able to keep more than 200 vendors despite the economic downtown in recent years. Started in 2004, the diversity of vendors continues to run the gamut from student artwork and homemade crafts to mobile restaurants and retail establishments for nearly a decade. Loya said the market also enhances local businesses. She said 15-20 businesses in Lindsay operate a booth at the market to take advantage of the crowds. Several businesses have even grown from a booth at the market to their own brick and mortar location. The most recent example was Noodle People. The Korean cuisine restaurant operated a mobile food truck at the market as recently as last year. Due to the success of the market, Noodle People held a grand opening on Jan. 14 for their permanent location at 246 Elmwood Ave. in Lindsay.

“It’s not a flea market because it is more family oriented, but it’s not just a farmers market because there is so much to do,” Loya said. “It’s a very clean market with music, food, clothing, vendors, like a nice outdoor bazaar.”

The market normally begins on the first Friday in March, but was postponed to this Friday due to rain last week. Loya said the momentum of the market was helped by the addition of an indoor market during the winters months. Beginning on Dec. 21, 2012, Loya held a limited, indoor version of the market at McDermont Field House every Friday through Feb. 22.

Vendors are always welcome to apply for the Friday Night Market and Street Faire. For vendor guidelines visit http://thelindsaychamber.com. For more information on the market, contact Virginia Loya at 559-333-1994.

 

Exeter Farmer’s Market

While Lindsay’s street fair and market continues to grow, Exeter’s market had trouble taking root. Farmers Market coordinator Mike White said there will not be a Farmers Market in Exeter on Tuesday evenings this year. The market would have opened its third season in April. During the first year, the market was held from 5-8 p.m. every Tuesday from mid-March through September. The start of the market was moved back to April in 2012. White said the market faced many challenges last year, including a market on the same night in Tulare. The Tulare Market began last year on the same night and during the same season as Exeter. The Tulare Market is now held every Tuesday night from April through September on Kern Ave just east of Tower Square in Tulare. White said vendors slowly began to gravitate to the Tulare market because of the increased foot traffic downtown Tulare could offer.

The Exeter Farmer’s Market started on March 15, 2011 with about 10-20 vendors. Over the last two years, Market organizers tried several different strategies including car shows, a beer garden, bounce houses, ribbon cuttings and reusable grocery bags, just to name a few. The market’s second year ended on Sept. 25, 2012.

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