EAGLE — Downvalley residents who want to purchase fresh produce and home-made goodies in a festival setting will have to trek up to Edwards, Minturn or Vail this summer.
Gladdie Funke, one of the organizers of the Eagle Farmer’s Market, has announced that the event has been canceled for this year. She cited a lack of potential vendors as the reason for the cancelation.
“We are saddened by this decision but we were unable to attract enough vendors to make it viable,” said Funke in a written announcement.
What was planed
The farmers market was slated to at Town Park for its fourth season this year after last year’s Eagle Ranch Village venue. The proposed dates were Friday evenings, July 5 through Sept. 13 with a fall market on Saturdays from Sept. 21 through Oct. 5. The event planned to offer booth sales, an entertainment line-up at the Centennial Stage and activities for kids.
While the full blown market plan has been scrapped for this summer, Funke noted that event volunteer Carol Onderdonk is still at work contacting various vendors who had planned to participate to see if a downsized market can still proceed.
“It would be none of the entertainment and none of the attractions of the full-blown market, but with some of the vendors,” said Funke.
Not enough vendors
While the Eagle Farmer’s Market was popular with a cadre of downvalley dwellers, the event never experienced the high numbers seen at the Saturday morning Edwards and Minturn markets and the Sunday morning Vail Village Farmers Market.
“In terms of vendors, we were not able to attract enough vendors or had last minute cancellations,” said Funke. “We had not filled the categories that I believe make a farmers market worthwhile. We felt that the community would have been dissatisfied with the end product due to the critical mass. The market would not be supported by the community resulting in dissatisfied vendors. That’s a no win situation.”
Additionally Funke noted that sponsorship sales for the market had been marginally successful, but had fallen $3,000 below budget.
With the cancelation announcement, Funke noted that she will contact individuals, businesses and organizations that had stepped up with cash to support the event.
“Now the work of refunding vendor fees, sponsorship funds, making the proper notifications and figuring out how we’ll cover the $700 outlay for non-refundables such as insurance, memberships and design fees will have to be sorted out,” she said.
And although the market is a no-go for 2013, Funke still believes in the concept.
“I personally have worked on this for six months dedicating hundreds of hours and millions of brain cells because I am passionate about the market,” she said. “Maybe someday it will make more sense or there will be a larger body of volunteers to make an undertaking of this size worthwhile.”
“I am passionate about the market. ... Maybe someday it will make more sense or there will be a larger body of volunteers to make an undertaking of this size worthwhile.”