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FOREST — Saturday’s opening of the Forest Farmers Market will mark the fourth year for the event and organizers are optimistic it will be their most successful season to date.
Throughout the summer, the market will feature demonstrations and discussions on subjects varying from beekeeping to cupcakes and a growing number of area merchants will offer everything from lettuce to scrimshaw.
Jane Kidd is taking the lead at organizing the market, which will open Saturday at the parking lot west of the Forest-Jackson Public Library and continue for the next 21 weeks.
It’s no coincidence the opening day is on Mother’s Day weekend, said Kidd. Special promotions for the holiday will be a part of the opening day’s features, she said.
Any item purchased to be used as a gift for Mother’s Day will be placed in a basket and wrapped in a variety of colored netting, said Kidd. Homemade cards for moms are also available at the market.
Each purchase will entitle the buyer to have their name put into a raffle with the winner given a hanging basket, said Kidd. The winner’s name will be drawn at noon and they need not be present.
There will be 22 vendors at Saturday’s opening. Their products will include produce, including locally grown lettuce and onions, plants, aprons, flowers, eggs, honey, hand-made wooden benches, bowls and sewn table runners and tote bags.
Books will be sold, along with cupcakes specially created by Amanda Noascono. One merchant will offer crafted ivory taken from piano keys and crafted into pins and other items.
Children ages 6-12 will be given sunflower seeds at the May 19 and 26 markets. Each will be encouraged to plant the seeds and return on Aug. 4 to determine which raised the largest blossom from the seeds. The winner will receive $50 for first place. Second place will be awarded $30 and third place will get $20.
Artist LuAnn Farmer will sell tole-painted slates and the profits from the sales will be donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Fund, said Kidd.
On June 9, the market will feature Alexis’ Lemonade Stand in honor of National Lemonade Days. The money raised by the stand goes for research for a cure for childhood cancer.
The vendors are open from 9 a.m. to noon each Saturday through Sept. 29 with programs scheduled at 10 a.m. at the headquarters tent.
The schedule at this date includes:
May 12 – Mother’s Day shopping event
May 19 – Beekeeping 101 and sunflower contest
May 26 – All about concealed carry and sunflower contest
June 2 – Hardin County Chapter of MADD
June 9 – Alexis’ Lemonade Stand
June 16 – Herbs
June 23 – Demonstration on making glass beads
June 30 – Sheriff’s communication trailer
July 7 – Poster contest with Tree Town Festival
July 14 – Pending
July 21 – Program on gourds
July 28 – Harco kudostudio
Aug. 4 – Kids cupcake decorating and sunflower judging
Aug. 11 – 18 – pending
Aug. 25 – Making memory beads JuJu Beadz
Sept. 1 – 29 – Pending
By DAN ROBINSON
Times staff writer