Eagle Farmer’s Market sprouts this spring
Vail, CO Colorado
EAGLE, Colorado –Community and doing more with less – that’s the idea for a farmers market at Eagle Town Park that’s to begin June 11.
The good times are scheduled 4 to 8 p.m. every Friday through Sept. 17, complete with local vendors and entertainment.
“This market is going to be one of the longest seasons – 15 weeks – in the valley,” said one of the organizers, Gladdie Funke.
Since it’s so new, Funke said she’s depending on volunteers to help make it happen. Additionally, because of a partnership with the town of Eagle, venders who register by May 15 will receive 15 percent off their booths and get to participate at Eagle Flight Days, which is always celebrated the last weekend in June at Eagle Town Park.
People can go to http://www.eaglefarmersmarket.org to register as a vendor or entertainer, or find more information.
Funke hopes the market will bring the community closer together and put Eagle on the map, following in the footsteps of the Minturn Market.
Eagle County has never had a farmers market on Friday evenings before. There is the Eagle Community Market and the flea market at the community building, Funke said, but this farmers market is going to be different, fuller, bigger.
Renovated in 2006, Eagle Town Park is located downtown west of the Eagle County Building. Funke aims to take advantage of the park’s stage and location.
“We hope the stage will become a showcase for small businesses, such as karate, dance or music demos,” she said. “For instance, a piano teacher might do a recital, and if a class of karate students is up there, that will bring the parents there to watch as well.”
Besides the stage, there are plans to have an activity tent if sponsorship is found. The tent would have such things as face painting and pony rides. Further, there are hopes to integrate children’s education.
“We’re going to try to work with Brush Creek Elementary, so kids can grow produce and see the process from seed to market,” Funke said.
Sales tax will be collected at the market, too, which means it will help the local economy. It also means the town requires vendors to have a business license, among other things.
Funke said proceeds from the market will go back to the community in the form of a charitable donation.
Erin Vega and Lindsay Husta are working with Funke to get the market off the ground.
Funke said Vega approached her last fall, while they were working in the community garden. Vega had helped expand a farmers market in Grand Junction around 2002.
“The Grand Junction market started with a handful of farmers and grew from one block to four blocks within a year,” Vega said. “We made it more festive.”
Vega, who now lives in Eagle, is spearheading the effort to get entertainment at the Eagle Farmer’s Market. She envisions two shifts of entertainment. The first would showcase a large community group and the second shift would be music.
“We’re really excited to have Eagle Town Park for the venue,” Vega said.
Husta will be a fifth grade teacher at Stone Creek Elementary in Avon next year. She put about 20 hours into making the new organization’s Web site, which she keeps updated and where she answers questions. She also met Funke in the community garden last fall.
“It started as an idea to raise funds for the garden,” Husta said.
Now, it’s grown into something bigger, and with no advertising other than networking and word of mouth.
“Because we have no money, we’re going to do what we can with no money,” Funke said. “Once we get through one season I think it’ll go on autopilot. … If three women can pull this off, anything’s possible.”