New season of Livingston Farmers Market begins

By: 
Samantha Hill

The Western Sustainability Exchange Livingston Farmers Market starts today, introducing a new coordinator but keeping some of the old traditions.

The new Farmers Market coordinator, Vicki Petry, came on just a few weeks ago after former coordinator Rob Bankston retired last year after 12 years with the market.

Petry said she got the opportunity to work with Bankston and how he operated the market, so she is prepared for opening day.

“I’ve been able to work with so many people in the community,” Petry said.

Bankston said he will continue to help in any way he can but feels he has served his time with the market.

“This is the first time in 12 years I can just go enjoy the market,” Bankston said.

Petry said she has tried to keep many market traditions, but one change she made was keeping all the vendors outside all summer, rain or shine.

“Some people who have megabooths are actually relieved,” Petry said, stating it can be difficult to coordinate going inside and it can split up the market. “People will drive by and not see that many vendors, so they won’t stop.”

Petry said 25 vendors registered for the market today morning but many people wait to check in. She expects around 60 total.

There will be a new cotton candy man this year along with many of the same food vendors from previous years. There will be a lot of the same produce offered.  

“People keep getting produce earlier and earlier in June,” Petry said.

This first market of the year will have a Wildfire Preparedness Day with Smokey Bear and wildfire prevention tips. Members of the Park High jazz band will play, and the Yellowstone Ballet Company is expected to perform.

Other featured events for the summer include Performing Arts Day, Mental Health Awareness Day and a celebration for the National Park Service Centennial with a bigger market open for longer on Aug. 17.

Bands will be at every Farmers Market. The bands include Someday Miss Pray and the Swingley Jazz Trio.

The markets will be held at Miles Park every Wednesday from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., and will continue until Sept. 21.

The full schedule of events can be found at www.westernsustainabilityexchange.org or on posters across town.
 

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Samantha Hill may be reached at shill@livent.net.