BOULDER, Colo. –
In spite of cold weather and overnight snowfall on Saturday, residents who have waited months for the seasonal event made it out for the first day of the Boulder Farmers’ Market.
Amedeo Negrini and Matthew Ehrlich, both 25, have a bread stand at the market and said that they were pleased with the turnout on the first day of the market’s 23rd season.
“I’m excited about the people, familiar faces, regulars,” Negrini said. “It’s already day one and I’ve seen everybody.”
Mark Menagh, executive director of Boulder County Farmers’ Markets, said that the market typically has about 120 vendors lined along the narrow stretch of 13th Street between Canyon Boulevard and Arapahoe Avenue. He said that officials are looking at ways to ease crowding, such as setting up areas off 13th Street where patrons can eat and socialize.
“We’re addressing that, there’s a lot of different things that we’re doing,” said Menagh, “We’re looking at having people walk in a clockwise direction around the market. We’re going to be working on having more ‘conversation stations’ off the main street because, even though we’re a market, we’re also a social event.”
Hilary Van Dusen, who runs the Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy booth, agreed that the market has gotten a little crowded of late but said that, for a vendor, the bigger the crowd the better.
“It’s gotten more crowded,” she said. “I think it helps that they added the extra bench (an area for hot food vendors) around the corner. I don’t think it’s too crowded, though; as a person who’s selling, I appreciate the growth of the (Farmer’s) Market.”
Shoppers Louisa McGarty and Mark Law also said that the market can get a little packed, making it hard to get from vendor to vendor. However, Law also said that he didn’t really see it as a negative.
“It gets really crowded, yeah,” he said, “But I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing; I think that shows the interest there is for local products. So, they should view that as a good thing and maybe think about trying to expand the space for it so there’s more room for people or do another day during the week.”
Menagh said that Project for Public Spaces, a nonprofit planning and design organization from New York, is working with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department on a redesign of the Farmer’s Market.
“We’ve outgrown this space to a certain extent,” Menagh said. “At the same time, we’re very proud of what we’ve accomplished.”