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Artisans & Farmers Market May Move To Washington County Courthouse Lawn

Last updated on Sunday, February 3, 2013

(SALEM) - The Washington County Artisans & Farmers Market hopes to set up shop around the county courthouse every other Friday night beginning in May.

Marcia Walker of the Leader Democrat reports, they already host a market in Pekin on Saturdays.

Market representatives Alan Bishop and Kevin Mutscher met with the Washington County Commissioners recently, seeking permission to use the area around the courthouse. The two said plans are to offer the market every other Friday in Salem. Hours would be 5 to 8 p.m., although the two stressed the times could change.

Last year, the market set up during warm weather months at Center Peace, the site of the old cheese plant in Salem. Bishop said vendors wanted a location with more shade.

The two explained that the vendors offer locally grown produce and handmade items and come from Washington and counties contiguous to Washington.

In an e-mail, Bishop said there are about 20 vendors offering such things as perennial plants, bedding plants, soap, crocheted items, seeds and local art.
There is even a musical circle.

Bishop said he along with vendors Donnie Simpson and Jimmy Morgan started the circle; participants play their choice of music and also host guests. The music genre includes folk, country and classic rock.

The market began as a project of the 2011 Awareness Washington County class.

Bishop explained the market's mission is to offer customers a sample of what Washington County farmers and craft folks have to offer and to provide a platform for them to develop their business.

The commissioners asked about proof of insurance and suggested some sort of written agreement be drawn up, including a schematic drawing of how the market would be set up.

They also mentioned the need to coordinate the market with other events held downtown, such as Friday Night on the Square.

Bishop and Mutscher said the market would open in the new location for the first time on Friday, March 24; markets would take place through October. The two are to meet again with the commissioners to work out details.

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