Saturday market to be offered in Cassville

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Garden Sass Farmers' Market will be selling produce on the square in Cassville from 7 to 11 a.m. each Saturday from April 6 through Nov. 23, weather permitting. The announcement was made at the market association's pre-opening meeting, held at Sunrise Family Restaurant in Cassville on March 16.

John Potter, Garden Sass president, reported that he had been working with the Cassville Main Street Association (CMSA) on plans for the Saturday market.

"They want us to begin the first weekend in April," said Potter. "We will be setting up on the south side of the square on Seventh Street."

Potter said that farmers' market vendors would not be required to purchase licenses for the Saturday market events. He also said that CMSA had volunteered to list the market dates on their website, purchase a banner for the events and promote the event with flyers.

"The businesses on the square are all for it," said Potter.

"I think anything that would increase traffic would be beneficial for them," said Sherry Tucker, Garden Sass secretary.

The Garden Sass Farmers' Market will be required to hold one event on the square each month from April through November. Potter said the events could include free bluegrass music or activities for children, such as face painting or free helium balloons.

Tucker was appointed to oversee the special events.

"We are thrilled to have this happen," said Mary Cupps, who is a member of the CMSA promotions committee. "We are excited about the Saturday market and thrilled to be working with you. We want to help make this as successful as possible."

Carolyn Bishop, CMSA chair, said that a Saturday market was requested by several community members through surveys conducted by the City of Cassville for the Main Street and DREAM projects.

"People really want a Saturday market, and I think it will be very successful," said Bishop.

Cupps unveiled the logo for the Saturday market, which will be called the Cassville Farmers' Market. The logo was designed by Cassville Democrat graphic artist Veronica Zucca. Tucker suggested a tag line be placed under the logo that says "Sponsored by the Garden Sass Farmers' Market Association."

Although the Saturday farmers' market will not be offered during the Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce's annual Dogwood Car, Truck and Motorcycle Festival on May 4, the market will be open during the chamber's Chili and Salsa Cook-Off on Oct. 26.

Garden Sass members also discussed their hours for the market that is held on Mineral Springs Road in the Cassville City Park each year. Potter asked members if they were interested in continuing to offer the market from 7 to 11 a.m. each Tuesday and Friday beginning in May.

Several members said that if the Saturday events are successful they would prefer to stop the Friday events in the city park. Vendors indicated that they would not likely have enough produce for both the Friday and Saturday events.

The Garden Sass Farmers' Market will continue to be open each Tuesday throughout the summer. The Friday market hours will be determined after the Saturday events begin in April.

Vendors that participate in the market will continue to be charged $5 on the first day and $1 for each additional day that they participate in the market. The vendor fees will be the same for the Tuesday and Saturday events.

"The weekday market events are probably going away," said Potter.

Tucker asked why Potter thought the weekday events would disappear.

"I've heard that in most communities, once you start offering a market on Saturday you become very busy and most of your vendors can provide for Saturday only," said Potter.

Several vendors said that produce will likely be limited at the Saturday market events in April, but many sellers will offer baked and canned goods, plants or crafts. Potter suggested the market donate a vendor spot for the Cassville High School FFA to offer plants during the market also.

Steve Burcham was elected vice president of the farmers' market association during the meeting. Vendors also discussed rules for genetically modified organic produce and labeling requirements during the meeting.

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