Regular shoppers at the farmers market may have noticed a pretty dramatic change this season. The Adams County Farmers Market Association decided to try something bold this year and moved our whole market entirely into the Gettysburg Station lot (formerly known as the REDDI site). The results of this decision so far have been wonderful.
The first advantage of this move has been the added convenience to our vendors. Because the lot is so spacious, vendors can pull up and park right at their spot, instead of having to unload first and park their vehicles elsewhere. Local farmers work incredibly hard all year to grow the food that keeps our community healthy and our economy strong, so the ACFMA tries to make their lives a little easier whenever we can!
Another advantage has been the peaceful, community-focused atmosphere this new layout creates. The colorful canopies create a small, rectangular plaza where shoppers can gather, talk, and relax. Children can play cornhole or draw on the pavement with sidewalk chalk, totally insulated from busy traffic and always in sight of their parent or guardian. To cultivate a pleasant shopping experience, musicians and other community guests can set up along the periphery, or even right in the middle of the market.
The move has also been beneficial for event planning. Senior Day, which was last month, was a big success because elderly residents were able to easily access the market, despite any limited mobility. We are also planning to hold our annual Kids Day this month (June 22), and the new layout has given us ample room to host exhibitors, activities, and crafts for children in a safe and accommodating way. The extra space we now have has even allowed us to try out new events we’ve never done before. For instance, next month (July 27) we will be holding our first ever Young Entrepreneurs Day, where youths can set up and sell their own creations right alongside our regular vendors. (If you know a young person who would be interested in participating in Young Entrepreneurs Day, please find event information on our website.)
All these fantastic results of our market’s new, more functional arrangement shows just how critical a proper venue is for a farmers market to succeed, and the data we’ve collected supports this. Foot traffic is up by 27 percent over last year’s average, and our market’s total sales on opening day exceeded opening day in 2018 by over $2,900. It’s no wonder why feedback about the new setting has been positive and enthusiastic from customers and vendors alike.
I would also like to take this opportunity to briefly thank the Adams County Industrial Development Authority (IDA), who drafted the lease that made this new layout possible. All of the successes mentioned above would not have been possible without the IDA’s invaluable assistance.
So, if you haven’t checked out our new look yet, I invite you all to come any and every Saturday this season between 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Make use of our free downtown parking, say ‘hi’ to our new vendors, and enjoy the market.