A second year of the Lakewood Farmers Market is a lock due to the success of its first season that was recently extended, the city’s parks and recreation director said Friday.
The season will last a total of 11 weeks after staying open for two more market days – 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday and again Sept. 18 – in response to requests from visitors and vendors alike, said Mary Dodsworth, the director.
“That’s a given,” she said when asked about the chances for the market’s return next year. “It’s been a great success. We know we’re going to do it next year.”
Dodsworth said the market did see a drop in visitors and vendors last Tuesday, the first date of the extended season, which she attributed to the start of school.
She said the market averaged around 35 vendors or nonprofits and about 500 visitors per week.
Once the season ends, the market’s leadership team will reconvene to review feedback from visitors and vendors to determine, among other things, the best dates, times and mix of vendors for the market’s second go-around, Dodsworth said.
Residents can share their opinions about the market through an online survey that will be posted on the city’s website soon.
The city budgeted $5,000 in lodging tax revenue to start and promote the market with a goal of fostering a sense of community, providing fresh food choices to residents, and attracting visitors to Lakewood Towne Center, the city’s retail core.
Residents have mentioned the need for a farmers market in Lakewood over the years, but no individual or group had come forward. Following another such inquiry, Dodsworth and city staff scheduled a meeting last winter to gauge community support, and the resulting committee helped grow the idea.
Many Pierce County communities large and small – from Tacoma to Puyallup, Gig Harbor to Steilacoom – have farmers markets. Lakewood selected Tuesdays because there’s relatively little competition from neighboring venues that email@example.com 253-274-7390 @TNTchill