By THE CITY OF TAYLOR
For the Sunday Times
TAYLOR — The 2017 Taylor Farmer’s Market will open for the season at noon June 2, and will offer several new features. The market will be open each Friday — with few exceptions— through September.
The market — held in the Sheridan Center Open-Air Pavilion at Heritage Park, 12111 Pardee Road — has changed its hours to noon to 7 p.m. in an effort to attract after-work traffic.
“Many people have told us that they’d love to stop by after work,” Market Manager Thom Ouellette said. “By adjusting our hours, it will give people some time to stop by on their way home.
“Heritage Park is usually very active on Friday evenings during the warm weather months, so we hope that by staying open until 7 p.m., many more people will come by and visit.”
Opening day at the Taylor Farmer’s Market will start with a “Healthy Taylor Walk” around Heritage Park at noon. Mayor Rick Sollars will attend the opening before staffers lead the walk. Seniors will be bused over from the William Ford Senior Activities Center to first take a tour of the DIA’s Inside-Out exhibition of artwork throughout Heritage Park, and then will return to the market to do some shopping.
The market will give away free marigold flower seedlings,while they last. The marigold is the official city flower. These flowers are the spendthrifts among annuals, showing a wealth of gold, copper, and brass into summer and autumn gardens. The flower’s popularity probably derives in part from its ability to bloom brightly all summer long.
The Youth Arts Competition, sponsored by MI Custom Signs and the Downriver Council for the Arts, will be featured in the pavilion, with the winners announced at 5 p.m. Several categories involving different age groups will be part of the competition.
This will mark the first summer that the market participates in the SNAP, bridge card EBT statewide program. The market committee, which recently turned into a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has been working toward having the SNAP program available for some time. In Michigan, the program is managed by the Department of Human Services and is referred to as the Food Assistance Program.
SNAP benefits can be used to purchase any approved food item for human consumption and seeds and plants that produce food.
The market returned two years ago after being absent for three seasons. The new version has recorded approximately 25,000 visitors since its return. About 35 vendors participate overall, with an average of 20 to 25 participating on any given Friday. Vendors have reported strong sales across the board.
The market is the largest market of its kind Downriver. It is also the only market held under a roof – held in the 41,000-square-foot Sheridan Center Open-Air Pavilion. The roof prevented any rainouts in 2015 and 2016. The market always reserves the right to close due to hazardous weather.
The Sheridan Center has free parking directly in front of the building. Restrooms are available inside the center.
While Beaumont is the market’s main presenter, local sponsors this year are Big Fish & Seafood, Taylor Collision Center, Ty Metzger State Farm, Taylor Recycling, Taylor Dance, Hennessey Engineers, Howe-Peterson Funeral Homes, Keck Real Estate, Shwedel Dental, Jayco Comfort Systems, Half Time Bar, Wafe Trim, Denistry.Calm, Fraternal Order of Police Post No. 123, Rotary Club of Taylor, Erin H. Dobbins, Realtor, MI Custom Signs and Voran Funeral Homes.
June 9 will feature “Harvest of the Month Day!” and “Buy your Berries!” day at the market. Also featured will be the first “Healthy Taylor Walk with a Doc” with Dr. Caira Prince (discussing increasing physical activity). Free health screenings also will be offered.