PORT TOWNSEND — The Port Townsend Farmers Market returns for the season this Saturday, and though rain is in the forecast, open ceremonies will proceed as planned.
“Goats don’t mind the rain, and we’re from the Northwest,” said Amanda Milholland, director of the Jefferson County Farmers Markets, referring to the annual goat parade which opens the market.
The market will feature more than 70 vendors offering an array of foods and artisan crafts, and Saturday’s opening ceremony will feature a musical performance by Kristin and Otto Smith.
The market is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays, centered around the intersection of Tyler and Lawrence Streets in Port Townsend. Those wanting to attend the opening-day goat parade and ribbon-cutting ceremony this Saturday are encouraged to arrive at 8:45 a.m.
This year marks the 31st anniversary of the market and Milholland said a number of new prepared food vendors are joining. Prepared food vendors were shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic, causing some vendors to go out of business, Milholland said.
“This year we have a new group of prepared food vendors,” Milholland said. “We’re excited to have more variety in prepared food at the market.”
Milholland said last year’s opening ceremony drew about 1,000 people. The summer market would see as many as 2,500, she said.
“We’re expecting to have a similar level of energy, whether or not the rain forces decide to cooperate,” Milholland said.
In addition to fresh produce and prepared foods, the market features craft vendors selling pottery, jewelry, paintings, fabric arts and more. New food vendors include sellers of hard cider, fruit smoothies and hot chili oil.
People of all ages are encouraged to wear a fun hat, animal costume or other festive dress to celebrate the opening of the farmers market season, Milholland said.
The market also features a children’s story time hosted by the Port Townsend Public Library. The story time will be a recurring event on the first Saturday of every month, and culinary demonstrations will be offered the third Saturday of every month. The market closes for the season Dec. 16.
The market participates in food access programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; Women, Infants and Children and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program. This year the market is offering a dollar-for-dollar match of up to $25 per shopper when SNAP benefits are used.
The National Weather Service is forecasting rain before 11 a.m. Saturday, and showers afterward, with highs of near 47 and winds up to 9 mph. Expected precipitation amounts are between a tenth and a quarter-inch, according to NWS.
“We will still be there with rain coats on,” Milholland said.
Jefferson County Farmers Market also runs a market in Chimacum, which is open from June through October.
More information is available at jcfmarkets.org.
Reporter Peter Segall can be reached at email@example.com.