The Antietam Valley Farmers’ & Artists’ Market will celebrate Opening Day of the Summer Market Season on Saturday, May 20, from 8 a.m.-12 p.m.

The event will feature more than 25 vendors offering produce, plants, cut flowers, beef, pork, eggs, fruit, baked goods, breads, wine, spirits, coffee, olive oil and vinegar, soups, salads, gluten free items, clothing, jewelry, accessories, canned and jarred foods, crackers, cookies, cheese, and more. Music, demonstrations, community groups, and local vendors will also be offered.

A spring community yard sale and flea market will be held in the adjacent field; 7 a.m.-12 noon. Contact fleamarket@antietamvalley.org for more information, or visit www.antietamvalley.org for a registration form.

The Antietam Valley Farmers’ & Artists’ Market (AVFAM) opened in May 2015. A committee of the very active Antietam Valley Community Partnership (AVCP), a team of five brought together a wide selection of local vendors.

Committee Chairwoman Michelle Boyle tells of the inspiration for the market: “I was walking one evening with my husband, on our route past Carsonia Park. The park, as usual, was filled with kids, families, parents, folk just out for a stroll…I mentioned that it would be a wonderful place for a farmers’ market.” Michelle brought the idea to the AVCP board and soon a core group began planning. Under the advisement of Penn State Agricultural Extension advisor Brian Moyer, criteria for vendor inclusion was developed and a mission crafted: “The Antietam Valley Farmers’ and Artists’ Market (AVFAM) was created and organized to operate a local farmers market, offering consumers a wide range of locally grown produce and products made by the vendors themselves. The market will serve a long established residential community of over 9000 people, as well as become a destination market for walkers and drivers alike. Our market is designed to create an enhanced sense of community, and will help to sustain our local farming families and artists by providing a strong and direct market sales site. Both vendors and shoppers alike will enjoy the beautiful park setting of the market: an open-air market when the weather is agreeable, and a large indoor covered space for when nature does not cooperate with us.” The market and park are in both Lower Alsace and Exeter Townships, on the site of the former Carsonia Park amusement park.

The third Summer Season begins May 20 and operates weekly through October 7. Each market day brings our community closer together. The sense of unity and inclusiveness is growing. In addition to over 30 vendors, we offer musical entertainment, community tables, opportunities for volunteers of all ages, and a sense of neighborhood camaraderie that is unparalleled. Many walk, drive, ride their bikes, or carpool each week for the experience. Leashed dogs are welcomed; children are to play on the adjoining playground, and last year, we introduced a Little Free Library. The design was based on an existing vintage ticket booth from Carsonia Park, and holds a variety of books, magazine, and mixed media for all ages. Bring a book, take a book!

Please visit the market website at <farmersmarket.antietamvalley.org> for more information.

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